Sustainable water management: the key to future jobs
Conversely, WWAP notes that investing in infrastructure and improved water management “is investing in jobs” and growth.
For example, it estimates that “[i]n the irrigated agriculture sector, which represents 70% of freshwater withdrawals worldwide, the potential efficiency savings from increased water productivity could be as high as US$115 billion annually by 2030 (at 2011 prices).”
Citing a study by the Pacific Institute, the authors also reiterated the fact that correctly-targeted investments are conducive to the creation of decent jobs: for every million dollars invested, 10 to 15 direct, indirect and induced jobs for new water procurement solutions are created, 5 to 20 in rainwater management, and 10 to 72 for restoration and rehabilitation measures.
However, an increase in investments and the implementation of innovations to save water or obtain it in new ways will not be enough, according to the United Nations.
In this way, the report highlights the importance of governance: “Meeting these societal goals requires coherence and a shared vision, notably between water, energy, food, environmental, social and economic policies, ensuring that incentives are aligned for all stakeholders and that negative impacts are mitigated — for example, by ensuring future employability of those displaced in sectors where employment may fall.”
In short, the choices and investments made in water in the years to come will determine the future of the global job market and our well-being.