The Technology, Water and Security Nexus

  • 30.10.2022
  • ORF

Can emerging technology and the fourth industrial revolution aid in the increasing water insecurity in India and globally?

From low-cost desalination to hand-held purifying filters, technology has revolutionised access to clean drinking water and improved livelihoods across the globe. Technology has also aided in enabling better infrastructure, reducing loss, and creating a more secure environment. As the global population grows, especially in urban centres, and resources dwindle, it has become even more important to increase the water sector’s sustainability and resilience—being water smart, creating more with what we have, and wasting less.

Innovation and emerging technology in all spheres need to be factored into how we foresee water efficiency, safety, quality, and access. Working with companies and people that bring the best of innovation in technology, artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), robotics, and new frontiers in computing can enable us to better manage our growing water insecurity. However, as these two spaces merge and blur, we need to be mindful that the extent of our dependency on technology does not distract from behaviour and patterns of use. And, above all, as with many other spaces of innovation and science, we need to ensure that any over dependence on technology and systems does not become a security threat.