Nov 02 2020Share

Creating a Sustainable Nation Through Innovation

By AMWUA Staff

For some around the world who suffer from a lack of water, their situation seems hopeless because they face a critical scarcity of food, energy, and water. The reality is there is no substitute for water, especially clean water, which is essential for the production of energy and our food supply. The relation between all three is critical to our collective progress and sustainability.

SN PosterWebCreating a Sustainable Nation is the focus of a film screened at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts last week. It highlighted the nexus between food, energy, and water. It showcased the quest to bring sustainable water solutions to an increasingly thirsty planet using innovation. The film tells the stories of people dedicated to addressing water scarcity in Israel, Africa, India, and California. The film's purpose is to emphasize the importance of having access to water. Every individual has a responsibility to protect the environment, which impacts our water supply, so even the smallest actions can make a difference.

Water is priceless, especially in arid climates that encounter bouts of relentless drought and lack access to clean and reliable water. The importance of water was prevalent in the film because, in the end, water is the only thing that keeps us going, no matter where you live.

In Africa, villagers have to walk multiple miles a day to haul water from a water hole that is not necessarily clean for human consumption. In India, drought and shortage are compounded by urban runoff polluting the water sources needed for millions of people. But not all is hopeless. Innovation continues to lead the way in finding solutions and ensuring more people have access to a healthier water supply. Solar energy is being used to pump clean water from the Water tap in Africaaquifer for African villages and reduce the distance they have to walk to haul water. In places like Israel, they had the foresight to look at their extreme climate and think out-of-the-box to create a forest and utilize technology in irrigating crops that conserves water but still produces a plentiful harvest. Similar circumstances exist thousands of miles apart. The watering technology developed for agriculture in Israel is being used to assist other drought-ridden areas worldwide, including farmers in California. Innovative ways to clean and reuse water like here in Arizona are also vital to improving wastewater treatment and utilizing that water source in regions like India. In India, they are also exploring the use of aquatic plants to clean pollution in one of their largest rivers, which is the only water source for millions.

The film tells the story of how worldwide collaboration can bring solutions. And it explains how the answers to these problems can be simple. It's in our hands to create change, find solutions to the challenges we have and think out-of-the-box for new options that will bring change to an evolving situation.

When you have access to water, we often never pay it a second thought. We tend to forget how fortunate we are to live in a developed country where we have electricity, a reliable food supply, and access to running water that is clean, safe, and dependable, which is something we should never take for granted. The film reminds us that water is life, and life is water.

When the film's screening concluded, a discussion led by AMWUA and Scottsdale Water highlighted the critical role water plays in our own desert here in Arizona. We may face challenges like other arid climates worldwide, but our own innovation and long-term planning has enabled Arizona to be sustainable and prosperous. Yet for those engaged in Arizona's water world, just like other areas worldwide, the work never stops. Continual planning and investing in infrastructure and water supplies is the only way to ensure we never run out of clean water.

For over 50 years, the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association has helped protect our member cities' ability to provide assured, safe, and sustainable water supplies to their communities. For more information, visit

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