Water management strategies govern the control and movement of water resources to minimize damage to life and property while increasing the beneficial use. Good water management of dams and levees can reduce the damage due to floods. Irrigation water management systems are best in making use of limited water resources for agriculture. Drainage management involves water budgeting and analysis of surface and sub-surface drainage systems. What are water management techniques? – these are techniques that put policies, strategies intro practice through various activities to sustainably manage natural resource of fresh water, to protect the hydrosphere while meeting the demand of humans. Population, household size and growth affect the amount of water used. Factors such as climate change increases the pressure on natural water resources especially in mining, manufacturing and agriculture. What are water management best practices? – these are the solutions to a water challenges which are provided on the scientific basis. Some tools for water management best practices include engineering solutions, data-driven solutions, water management strategies, and environmental policies which all work to find solutions to water problems. Water strategies, techniques and best practices contribute to the core of a water management system. In this article we evaluate:

  • Water management strategies 
  • Why water management techniques are critical, and 
  • Water management best practices

What are the key water management strategies?

Water management strategies are ways in which reduction of water usage, wastage or loss are implemented to benefit the needs of living beings. These strategies involve the recycling of wastewater for various purposes such as manufacturing, irrigation and cleaning. Water is the most important factor which every living being needs. The benefits of water management strategies are realized through:

  • saving money, environment and energy
  • protecting the drinking water resources 
  • reducing or minimizing the pollution and health problems associated with water 
  • reducing the need for new wastewater treatment facilities 
  • saving the aquatic environment 
  • saving energy required for heat, treatment and pumping of water 
  • contingencies that are helpful during emergency cases such as droughts, veld fires, water contamination or mechanical failure

Developing a water management strategy for drought and fire season proved key in 2020 following the devastating wildfires form California to Australia. The world got a firsthand glimpse into how warmer, drier conditions enabled harsher periods of drought – resulting in longer fire seasons and greater water scarcity. The pressure is on to make every drop of water count. Preventing water loss before it reaches the end-user, also known as non-revenue water loss, is more critical now than ever. Analysis by Frost & Sullivan shows that nearly one-third of all water is lost before reaching the customer. The resulting scarcity of water amidst these losses plagues utilities and the communities they serve year-round. The stakes are even higher during drought and fire season, as water scarcity and lower water pressure could result in prolonged wildfires. 

Why are water management techniques critical? 

As water scarcity concerns increase water management techniques have now become more important than ever. In the era of industry 4.0 introduction of network optimization is vital. Data-driven planning is critical, and for this reason, digital twins, or software representations of water resource assets and processes, are valuable for identifying leaks and helping with seasonal demand fluctuations. Building a digital twin of a water system allows utilities to develop and train data models to understand and prepare for peaks and troughs of water demand, a critical element of urban water resource planning and management. Further, most dry regions rely on supplementing their own water resources with water purchased from other regions. This alone can be very costly and compounded by water loss and in times of water scarcity. In this instance, a digital twin can apply historical knowledge of data models to predict water availability, help manage storage, and forecast water costs. Over time, the expanding database of historical sensor information provides a comprehensive condition assessment of the entire water distribution system, helping utilities to proactively mitigate water loss. Utilities can also identify whether water access is being thwarted by theft or being billed correctly. In the greater scheme of things, these water management techniques serve to maximize water resources and ensure every drop of water is accounted for. 


Are environmental regulations, health and safety concerns or potential profit loss a concern right now?

What are water management best practices?

Water management best practices are performed at many levels which includes government, public and private business, non-government organizations (NGOs) and conservation groups, households and individuals. Let us breakdown each level to get more insight on the best practices.

  • Government – construction of dams, reservoirs, and canals for irrigation and public use as well as various projects to encourage reuse such as wastewater treatment and rainwater harvesting.
  • Public and private businesses – as part of corporate social responsibility may businesses set up water conversation projects in their community. Some of them also invest in water-saving innovations. 
  • NGOs and conversation groups – many NGOs, associations, and societies around the world are involved in conducting research, organizing awareness drives to educate the public about water conversation, reusing/recycling, and contamination. 
  • Households and individuals – there are steps that we can take to save water in our daily usage. This includes limiting our shower time, recycling grey water, fixing leaky pipes, using water-saving appliances, and installing water-efficient fixtures, to name a few. 
  • Data modelling and simulation – data models based on historical, current and futuristic data can help utilities better manage water resources and identify ways to reduce use by equipping them with a baseline. From there, identifying excessive water usage can help with the earlier flagging of potential leaks behind the meter and provide intelligence on larger-scale inefficiencies. Data modelling can help utilities to disaggregate water loss and therefore determine where and how water is being lost. 

Technology is the future of water resource management and the readiness to cope with pressing challenges on water resources can be achieved by embracing it. 

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Jeff McCracken. 2021. Developing a Water Management Strategy for Drought and Fire Season.

Water conservation. Retrieved 06/06/21 

Water-Diamond Paradox. Retrieved 06/06/21