According to a recently released U.S. intelligence report, fresh water supplies are unlikely to keep up with global demand by 2040, which would hinder economic growth and increase political instability. Water-related issues, such as shortages, poor water quality and floods, will likely increase tension around the world in the next ten years, according to the report.
As a part of the Alcoa Foundation Advancing Sustainability Research (ASR): Innovative Partnerships for Actionable Solutions initiative, Alcoa Foundation invested $4 million to support non-proprietary research in seven countries impacting regional and global issues, one of which is water management. In efforts to improve specific water issues, Alcoa Foundation is funding critical research and education regarding responsible industrial wastewater management in Russia through the Responsible Water Resources Management for Sustainable Development project. The project focuses on industrial wastewater management in Samara and is being executed by leading scientists and NGO professionals in Moscow and Samara.
Samara lies at the intersection of the Volga and Samara rivers, which has served as one of Russia's most important commercial routes for several hundred years. Samara, however, is also the leading industrial center of the Volga region and responsible management of the wastewater generated by these industries is of critical importance to maintain the river's environmental health and recreational value.
The goal of the project is to deliver new approaches for improved water management and polluted-water cleaning techniques to identify the impact industrial waters have on water management in Russia and to better articulate the problems it presents to different targeted groups, such as citizens, specialists and the government. The Fund for Sustainable Development and its partners are working at the federal and local levels to support the initiative through relevant information exchange and dissemination. The project engages students, scientists, decision-makers, citizens and professionals in natural resource management in hopes to better inform these targeted groups about water management systems in Russia and wastewater cleaning.