WRc collaborates on launch of critical global water resilience report

Simon Ayley is our Director of Strategic Growth Partnerships

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On 4 June, British Expertise International (BEI) celebrated the launch of the BEI's new report: Water Resilience - Unlocking Local and Global Benefits Through Collaboration.

BEI promotes British expertise globally, with a focus on the dynamic emerging and developing economies of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and South East Europe.

The report aims to showcase the unique capabilities of BEI members and the services they can offer for tackling water resilience to an audience that includes UK government agencies (e.g. the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO); the Dept. for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ); the Dept. for Business and Trade (DBT); Defra and the Environment Agency (EA)), water/wastewater companies and utilities, governments, bilateral and multilateral development agencies and other funders.

The scale of the water scarcity challenge was discussed by members of the BEI Water Resilience Working Group (WRWG). Several statistics of global concern were highlighted, including:

  • nearly 95% of infrastructure loss and damage reported between 2010 and 2019 was due to water-related disasters (source: United Nations)
  • 2.3 billion people lack access to safe drinking water (source: World Bank)
  • global freshwater demand is expected to exceed supply by 40% by 2023 (source: World Economic Forum).

The report focuses on the concerning truth that progress on water resilience is not keeping pace with climate change nor with the increased demand for water services, due to population growth, urban migration and economic growth. However, as was noted, this report is, according to Alexandra Barnes, Director, Infrastructure and Climate Resilience, BEI, “the most collaborative report ever produced by the BEI,” harbouring hope that its stakeholders will help drive progress on water resilience worldwide.

A panel discussion followed to discuss how research, design, engineering, governance and policy are all essential aspects of resilient water systems, and highlighted successful examples from around the world through 18 powerful case studies, including WRc’s case study featuring Brazil’s water regulator - Agéncia Nacional de Águas e Saneamento Básico (ANA).

ANA had a pressing need to receive training and guidance in the best international practices on ESG and climate change mitigation in the sanitation sector, as well as guidance on how to establish guidelines for investment in the water sector. WRc's training enabled ANA to develop internal capabilities and apply their learnings when making strategic decisions in Brazil based on best international practices for ESG investment and climate change mitigation practices in the water and sanitation sector.

The report also highlights the specific challenges to improving water resilience and the potential solutions, including changing hydrological cycles, infrastructure development, policy and regulatory regime and decision support systems. In response to the challenges, each BEI WRWG member's water resilience capabilities are categorised in a matrix so that the report’s audience can easily find and contact the key experts, including WRc.  Find the report here.

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

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Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

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Simon Ayley

Director of Strategic Growth Partnerships

Simon engages WRc knowledge, experience and innovative ideas with stakeholders from multiple sectors, establishing trust based on technical competence, integrity and commercial awareness. He has 25 years experience delivering all aspects of engineering design and construction project lifecycles to the highest of safety standards, and is a past President of the Institution of Gas Engineers & Managers.

2024-06-05 14:54:00