The British Broadcast Corporation (BBC) featured Bryan Harvey in two recent broadcast segments on water, one of the world’s most precious natural resources. Bryan shared his perspective on the true cost of water and why it is important for nations and consumers to understand the value of water.

By: Bryan Harvey, International Business Development Director, Water Business Group, CH2M HILL

Water is one of the world’s most precious resources. With urbanization, climate change, and growing populations, demand for water is on the rise and getting water where it needs to be presents a huge global challenge, especially for countries where water is scarce and industries and people alike need it to survive.

Despite the fact that water surrounds much of the planet, access to useable water remains a challenge, because only a small proportion of the water can be used for food production or as a source of safe, reliable drinking water. Although desalination offers an alternative for treating sea water, the energy cost remains high.

Today more than 40 percent—or approximately 2.5 billion people—don’t have access to sanitation or clean water. As a matter of fact, more people have access to mobile phones in Southeast Asia than access to sanitation.

As more people demand water, its value is increasing. Governments and nations must remain flexible in their approach to managing water and focus on developing long-term strategies to ensure that this irreplaceable and valuable resource doesn’t run out.

The water industry has changed almost beyond recognition in just a few decades - from state-owned water providers to international business players. To move the industry forward and protect water sources for future generations, it’s time for people and businesses to truly value water like the scarce resource it is.

Bryan Harvey was recently interviewed by BBC Radio 4’s Evan Davis and BBC World Service’s Peter Day. Listen to the full interviews on BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service to learn more about water and what can be done to increase the world’s access to this necessary resource.

Bryan Harvey serves as the International Business Development Director for CH2M HILL’s Water Business Group. Bryan is a Chartered Civil Engineer with 22 years of experiences across the water sector. His specialization in water has provided him with numerous interesting assignments including: irrigation schemes in Pakistan; hydro electric schemes in Indonesia; and leading the delivery of CH2M HILL’s flood risk management services to the Environment Agency, UK. Bryan is particularly interested in contributing towards the world’s adaptation responses to the challenges of climate change, population growth, urbanization and increasing wealth, and in 2010 contributed towards the World Economic Forum’s Water Initiative (Innovative Water Partnerships).