Water Day | Expo 2020 Dubai
calendar 22 Mar 2020

Water issues high on Expo’s agenda

Culminating in Water Week in 2021, the six months of Expo 2020 will highlight a range of water interventions, innovations and best practice solutions from around the world

Meet the water tower of West Africa, discover an ingenious ‘amphibious housing’ idea and see smart sustainability solutions in action – these are just a handful of ways Expo 2020 Dubai will shine a light on the importance of water.

The foundation of human survival and life on earth, water is essential to sanitation, healthcare, education, business and industry, yet climate change is making water more scarce, more polluted and more unpredictable.

As a global event dedicated to finding solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues, Expo 2020 Dubai will showcase, in depth, a range of ingenious ideas, innovations and best practices already providing solutions or with the potential to improve the lives of people and the state of the planet.

Many of the 192 participating countries are bringing their ambitious ideas to Expo 2020, where they will be able to collaborate and innovate to address water-related issues. For example, Guinea, dubbed ‘the water tower of West Africa’ thanks to its location as the source of the Niger, Senegal and Gambia rivers, will highlight its crucial role in water access for the whole region, inviting the world to ‘tap in to the source’ as they actively participate in developing sustainable solutions.

Seychelles will offer visitors a deep-dive deep into its pioneering efforts to safeguard its oceans and develop its blue economy, while Mali is ready to share with the world its water-based culture and huge agro-economic potential.

Water runs through the design and message of many other pavilions, not least the Rio Negro-inspired Brazil Pavilion, which will showcase the river and mangrove ecosystems and highlight efforts to protect water resources. The Dutch – renowned water experts – will share solutions that unite water, food and energy, such as technology that uses solar power to produce water out of air.

On site, all permanent Expo 2020-built structures have been designed to reduce potable water usage by 40 per cent (and most are achieving reductions of 50 per cent or more) compared to conventional buildings, thanks to ideas such as using condensation from air conditioning systems in toilet flushing and irrigation.

Add to that the Sustainability Pavilion’s ability to collect water from the air at night, and Siemens’ MindSphere Internet of Things (IoT) technology that uses sensors to manage water supply, adapt irrigation according to soil moisture and alert to leaks, and you have a working demo of how smart cities and cutting-edge technology will help conserve water in the future.

Across 173 days, Expo will shine a light on some of the imaginative ideas coming from around the world that will excite and inspire millions of visitors – including investors, governments and multilateral organisations.

Worried about flooding? Check out The Buoyant Foundation Project at the University of Waterloo, just one of a number of Expo 2020 Global Best Practice projects providing solutions to water challenges, and its ingenious ‘amphibious housing’ – structures that float on the surface of rising floodwaters then come to rest on the ground as the waters dissipate.

Or learn about Expo Live grantee Dar Si Hmad, a Moroccan non-profit that collects fog and delivers safe, potable fog-water to previously water-starved communities of the Anti-Atlas Mountains.

These events, interactions and ideas will culminate in Water Week, beginning on 22 March 2021 to coincide with World Water Day. One of Expo 2020’s key thematic weeks, it will focus on ensuring clean and adequate water for people and the planet, and draw the world’s attention to water and its centrality to all Sustainable Development Goals – in particular Goal 6, which calls for clean water and sanitation for all, and Goal 14, to conserve and sustainably use our oceans, seas and marine resources.

Through all these inspiring and informative journeys, Expo 2020 is a moment of optimism to shine a light on sustainable water solutions.