The challenges facing water are very well-known by those of us in the sector – aging infrastructure, limited public funds, a workforce headed for retirement, continued pollution, climate change and more are all on our minds. We also know that it is important for the public to be aware of how water is managed and that systems face these urgent challenges. The idea is that public awareness can be converted into public support that is vital for us.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of mainstream news about water is gloom and doom. They hear about broken water mains, rising rates, contaminants in drinking water, toxic algae blooms, and rising sea levels.
While that is definitely one side of the story, the flip side is that innovation and technology are bursting with solutions and actually creating opportunities out of those problems – think of water reuse, nutrient recovery, energy generation, decentralized treatment, the digitization of water, and on and on.
We need the public to know about this exciting and potential-filled paradigm shift in water. But why? Can’t we just go about our business and keep driving the change ourselves?
Let’s look at climate change for some perspective. People learned about the problem (forget the deniers). Then they learned about the solutions of cutting emissions and using renewable energy. Now they are calling for – even demanding – change, including at marches of millions around the world.
That’s the type of awareness and activism that will help accelerate our progress toward a sustainable water future. That will help us to influence leaders, increase resources, change policies, and improve stewardship of water.
The urgent need to convey a sense of hope and spirit of optimism for water is why the Water Environment Federation is thrilled to be a production partner for Brave Blue World. This documentary film is pioneering in its storytelling and scenery, presenting compelling examples from across six continents and outer space to show the positive side of what is possible for water.
WEF will be widely spreading the word about Brave Blue World and working to viewed by many people. Hopefully they will realize the moment that is before us, as so perfectly stated by actor and water.org founder Matt Damon when interviewed for the film: “How lucky are we that we’re the ones who get to solve this.”