Discovered Markets works with businesses solving some of the world's most pressing problems. Today, we are kicking off a series of posts covering water issues and what businesses are doing about it.
With rivers becoming more populated in Indonesia and droughts decreasing water supply in Malaysia and Thailand, water scarcity issues have continued to rise in Southeast Asia.
Asian waterways, like the Mekong River in Vietnam, have been at their lowest in 50 years due to climate change. Rice production in Asia (driving production of 90% of the world’s rice) has largely been affected by this water scarcity, as rice is strictly a freshwater crop. By 2025, 79 million hectares of Asia’s irrigated rice lowlands will have been likely impacted.
Massive urbanization in Asia raises the concern of sustaining clean water for large populations in concentrated areas. Urbanization rates are set to increase by 60% by 2025.
These crises have increased geopolitical tensions. There have been 357 water disputes globally since 2000, with Southeast Asia contributing to 60 of those disputes.
How can businesses help?
Businesses are getting creative and finding innovative ways to manage and increase clean water in Southeast Asia. For example, businesses have leveraged water treatment technologies, such as desalination and drip irrigation, to improve access to and management of clean water.
Desalination is the process of removing salt from seawater. Since 2016, desalination markets have been steadily increasing by 21%. This practice has been deemed “essential to the health and well-being of people and economies around the world, both now and in the future” by IDA Secretary General Shannon McCarthy.
Drip irrigation is one of the most efficient ways to irrigate and eliminate runoff, drift, and evaporation. Drip irrigation puts small amounts of water/fertilizer across an area in a uniform manner. By 2025, the drip irrigation market will increase by almost 70%. The Asian-Pacific region will be the main driver for the expansion of this market due to increased food production demands by growing populations. This practice will save resources and produce high yields of crops.
Stay tuned in with our upcoming blogs to see how specific companies have positively impacted the clean water space.