The rapid pace in technological and agronomical advancement has adversely affected our surroundings creating serious environmental and health threats due to an imbalance in the biosphere. Climate change is expected to impact a number of regions across the world and mankind will begin to suffer from harmful effects, particularly water scarcity and loss of agricultural production. Sustainable water management, water infrastructure and access to a safe, reliable and affordable supply of water and adequate sanitation services improve living standards, expand local economies and lead to the creation of more decent jobs and greater social inclusion. Sustainable water management is also an essential driver of green growth and sustainable development. New technologies and strategies need to be developed either for the reduction or elimination of toxic compounds from a process, or removal of toxic compounds from our environment.

In a global perspective, water scarcity is likely to limit opportunities for economic growth and the creation of decent jobs in the upcoming years and decades. Unless there is sufficient infrastructure to manage and store the water, as is the case in many developed countries, water availability might vary significantly, leaving (parts of) countries ‘water scarce’ for extended periods. Water availability is also highly dependent on water quality. Poor quality water may not be fit for several uses and the cost of the required treatment may be a prohibiting factor, thus contributing to the economic burden of water scarcity.