La Houille Blanche
Number 2, Avril 2000
|Page(s)||29 - 38|
|Published online||01 July 2009|
La technique peut-elle tout résoudre ?
Is technology capable of solving everything?
Conseil général du GREF
The ever-increasing population growth and the claim for a better standard of living, coupled with a water crisis in many parts of the world, require a new approach in managing water resources. ls technology capable of solving every aspect of the problem? Many progresses have been made in the knowledge of resources and in water use efficency. However, many water resources are polluted from the results of municipal, industrial and agricultural wastes. More often than not, we know the ways to avoid these adverse effects but there is lack of awareness by many decision-makers and.financial allocations are continually shrinking. We need to upgrade or replace existing dams and reservoirs and to build new dams to provide additional storage capacity. The financial and environmental cost of these projects is largely emphasized, but we know to foresee and prevent most of the negative impacts. Progresses in hydraulic machinery and structures, conveyance channels and conduits construction are important; so we have the capability of transfering large amount of water to another basin. However, in many cases, decisions making is blocked by the lack of political willpower or by ideological motives. Cost of seawater desalinization and bad quality water treatments are continually decreasing but the processes require amount of low-priced energy and large investments. The present know-how is very important but is often badly used. We need additional investments to new engineering design and improved hydrological tools, especially for pollution control and watershed management. Nevertheless, facing the population growth and climate changes, we need also new political long-term view and breakthrough in economic methods.
© Société Hydrotechnique de France, 2000