As my welcome text I decided to sustain the great tradition of clearing out, our beloved readers, the Cybercom’s contribution to the particular Sustainable Development Goals. First of all, that is a great opportunity to get everyone on the same page, but – secondly – also a chance to brag a little bit about all the exciting things we do daily in our organisation.
After getting familiar with Gender Equality (5th SDG), the time has come to talk about the 6th Sustainable Development Goal, meaning the “Clean water & sanitation” one. The particular targets developed within this goal concentrate around providing universal access to good quality drinking water and sanitation. Increasing water-use efficiency, improving waste treatment and managing integrated water resources by simultaneously restoring water ecosystems – all of that with one common denominational of securing water resources around the globe.
We can see water resources hitting the headlined here & there as the vision of potential water scarcity is the one that fuels fantasies and nightmares of artists all around the world. In the recently published report (you can find it here LINK), European Strategy and Policy Analysis System addresses the chilling topic of both food and water insecurity:
Warnings of food and water insecurity have become a regular feature of international politics – and indeed, even in the EU, water scarcity and droughts affect one-third of its territory. Both food and water insecurity are therefore seen as mega-trends but are in fact – in their nature and impact – catalysts as they emerge over a short period of time and human action can have an immediate impact. Similarly, water insecurity is mostly the result of poor infrastructure and water management, rather than the planet drying up. Climate change will exacerbate both water and food insecurity in areas that are already prone to conflict, such as Africa and the Middle East. The IPCC says that climate change will expose 1 billion people to water scarcity in the coming years.
Having read that, we can fully understand the importance of this Goal – with its challenges and opportunities. And the responsibility in our hands.
It has been scientifically proven that facing the fatal prognostics, human kind tends to feel overwhelmed, and tends to choose idle waiting over the action, even if this actually could turn the situation around. And I know it is hard to stay immune to anxiety when talking about such impactful phenomenon as the perspective of water scarcity. So I have a proposition – lets leave the big picture for a second, and think about the little things all of us could do to turn the tide in our favour.
What can we do?
There is actually a whole lot of thing we could do to contribute here!
And it is not only about turning off the tap while brushing teeth or washing hair (those, while important, allow us to apply rather small impact).
One of the biggest things we can do is actually changing our clothes-shopping habits. Just like Andreas mentioned in the previous blog entry – fashion is the world’s second biggest poisoner. Its detrimental influence affects not only labour markets, causing and perpetuating severe disparities, but also whole local biosystems exposed to deadly chemicals. The way we buy, wear and dispose of fashion is of tremendous importance. Go read Andreas’ article again. Take a longer consideration before you buy a new piece of clothing. Reduce, reuse, recycle!
What is Cybercom doing?
As I mentioned before, each of the SDGs comes with its particular targets and did you know there is one that is absolutely ‘ours’? Target 6.5 – Implement integrated water resources management seems to have Cybercom’s name on it! Putting the technology in the service of humanity is what we do, isn’t it?
I am more than glad to tell you about a few really interesting projects going on! Contributing to the 6th Sustainable Development Goal we engage in several PoCs throughout the group.
We have a history of cooperation with HSY (Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority), an agency responsible for the water supply and sewage control management in the Helsinki region in Finland. Currently, we are working on two projects for HSY. First one is a mobile map of water wells for the maintenance teams, and another one is the PoC for water supply connection portal.
Another PoC was recently done in the office of Lodz – the challenge was to automatize and speed up the water quality analysis, that is being done manually and lasts far too long. Since the technology that allows marking the presence of particular microorganisms is still being tested (and too expensive for the mass use), the Innovation Zone built a network of sensors measuring several parameters like the temperature, flow, turbidity, pH and even smell (we are particularly proud about this one!). Along with the data collection and a Cloud-based analysis, the outcome is the possibility to monitor and promptly localise any aberrations of water’s quality.
Even though water is a resource to be watched in a coming year, there are things we – the humanity – can do. Instead of giving up to pessimism let’s engage in actions within our reach. After all, the big change is the sum of small gestures, so it needs all of us on board to happen.