IBM and The Weather Channel Combat Freshwater Scarcity
IBM and The Weather Company launched Forecast: Change, a new initiative to help combat freshwater scarcity in communities around the world. It provides resources in support of actions that are designed to help address the lack of freshwater access around the world.
By 2025 two thirds of the world’s population could be living in water stressed areas. More than 2 billion people around the world lack access to safe water. Freshwater scarcity is a global issue that impacts human food security, the health of the environment, and our global economy.
As the planet warms, the world has seen an increase in extreme severe storms and conditions such as flood and drought, leading to more natural disasters that can require massive relief efforts in affected areas. These changes in weather patterns can not only spell disaster for local communities, but also reduce our planet’s capacity to sustainably provide clean water.
“Climate change is endangering freshwater supplies around the globe, and the number of people without clean water access, two billion currently, will grow,” said Randi Stipes, CMO of IBM Watson Media and Weather. “We believe everyone deserves access to clean water, so The Weather Channel and IBM are raising social awareness and investing resources to help combat global freshwater scarcity.”
Forecast: Change includes an IBM contribution of $1 million in total market value to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and charity: water to help provide and protect clean water. "We're thrilled to collaborate with IBM on their Forecast: Change initiative and look forward to bringing clean water to thousands of people in need," said Scott Harrison, founder and CEO of charity: water.
"Many cities around the world are facing severe water supply constraints due to climate change, population growth, watershed degradation and invasive plant species." said Andrea Erickson, TNC’s global managing director for water security. “By employing technology, science, and innovative financial investments, The Nature Conservancy is showing how nature-based solutions can improve water security and offer positive benefits to impacted communities."
As part of its initiative focusing on the availability of fresh water, IBM is also working with the Jefferson Project, led by IBM Research, which aims to create a blueprint for the future protection and preservation of fresh water around the world. The Jefferson Project captures and analyzes IoT data to track water quality of Lake George in the northeastern area of New York State.
IBM Research is also working to find safe water for remote parts of Kenya. Recently announced, The Freshwater Trust and SweetSense are collaborating with IBM to use IoT and blockchain technology to make groundwater usage sustainable, in an effort to tackle water shortages relating to drought.