Smart use of waterToday is World Water Day, as designated by the United Nations. According to the U.N., 1.1 billion people around the world were not supplied with clean drinking water last year and 18 million children died due to infectious diseases caused by dirty water. This number is bigger than the number of deaths caused by AIDS or wars.
To deal with this, countries have been working to increase the volume of water in storage. However, the South Korean government has almost suspended efforts to increase the volume of stored water over the past 10 years since the construction of multipurpose dams was halted due to a shortage of suitable sites for the construction and opposition from environmental groups.
The Ministry of Construction and Transportation forecast that the entire country would face a deficiency of about 340 million tons of water in 2011. In addition to usage, it is getting more difficult to control water as unusual meteorological changes become more frequent and have more severe consequences.
Over the last 10 years, the damage caused by natural water disasters has been estimated on average at 2 trillion won ($ 2.1 billion) per year nationwide.
Experts point out that to prepare for massive floods or droughts, it is necessary to build multipurpose dams that will increase the volume of water in storage. Dams are essential not only for preventing floods but also for securing water resources during dry seasons.
Historically, the use and control of water has been considered a matter of national security. Moreover, water resources are becoming an important source of profit for the business sector. According to Global Water Intelligence, the sales of the world’s top 10 water companies was estimated at $36.2 billion in total in 2005. Companies involved in the development of water resources have been diversifying their business areas, ranging from water supply and drainage services to construction works and the removal of salt from ocean water.
Projects to secure water resources and develop related technologies are not limited to the government’s preparation for natural disasters, but are being established as a business area.
Now is the not the time for developers and environmental preservationists to fight with each other. This is the time to make specific plans on how to secure enough water and how to utilize it for our country’s benefit in a global marketplace.