The world is facing severe water shortage problems. Climate change, growing populations, unsustainable water practices and an unbalanced resource distribution is putting lives and the environment at risk. Water and sanitation are the most pressing and immediate of vital needs - today 1.8 billion people have no access to safe water and 4.1 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation. At the same time, water and sanitation infrastructure, especially in industrialised countries and megacities, is old, leaking and inefficient and in urgent need of replacement.
Borealis' BorSafe™ and BorECO™ materials make an important contribution to the production of efficient and reliable water and sanitation network systems. Compared to alternative materials, modern polyethylene (PE) systems reduce water losses by a factor of eight and trenchless technology reduces installation costs by up to 60%.
Conventional irrigation methods use high volumes of water, a large part of which is often wasted through over-watering, excessive infiltration, run-off or evaporation. Drip irrigation offers great potential in terms of water efficiency and crop yield. Borealis recently launched Borstar® Aquility™, a new family of products intended for drip irrigation applications.
One of the global challenges society has to meet today is the rapid growth of the world's population. This includes enabling large cities and their infrastructure to meet increasing demand requirements. In 2009, Borealis commissioned a study to demonstrate the necessity of investments into renovation of ageing urban water infrastructure and advise on best practices for sustainable infrastructure solutions.
Food production requires 70% of the world's water resources, putting supply at risk. Borealis has recently co-sponsored a study with the aim to underpin the need for more sustainable irrigation practices and to point out solutions to prevent unnecessary and excessive water waste.
Increasing food production to meet the needs of the world's growing population is one of the major challenges confronting the world today. The optimisation of crop quality through fertilizers whilst preventing excess rinse-off of nutrients therefore plays a key role in sustainable farming. Borealis is working closely together with farmers to create awareness and support them in applying so called "precision farming methods."
The Borealis water footprint study has shown that plastics have the lowest water footprint compared to alternative materials. For example, the production of glass requires four times more water compared to plastics whereas steel requires six times more water.
In 2007, Water for the World was launched by Borealis and Borouge. It is a partnership programme to advance solutions, expertise and know-how to address the global water challenge. The programme includes a full range of activities at global and regional levels, in science, industry and for local communities.