London, UK,

Few know the actual cost of water, let alone its value to humanity

Andy Wallace, Associate Director and Water Practice Lead

Today, 22 March, we celebrate water. World Water Day is an international observance and an opportunity to learn about water and tell others about how to make a difference. The United Nations designated the first World Water Day more than 20 years ago. Each year focuses on a current or future challenge. This year’s theme is Better water, better jobs.

Why water? Without water, we ultimately cannot survive. Beyond the importance of having clean water to drink, we also need water to develop our communities, for industry and for jobs. According to UN Water, more than 1.5 billion people worldwide work in water-related sectors. Global Water Intelligence estimates that the global water treatment and distribution market in 2016 is approximately $630 billion.

At Amec Foster Wheeler, we provide water solutions to communities and industries. With over 1,000 water specialists, we work to improve water quality and provide easier access. Around the world, we are involved with projects that create jobs while providing people with access to better water. Some of our key projects include improving resilience for water in Barbados (ranked within top 15 countries for water scarcity) and catchment and asset solutions on dams in Canada to ensure thousands of acres of agriculture can be irrigated. Learn more about our water expertise at

The United Nations Millennium Development Goals set a target to halve the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015. The target was met five years ahead of schedule.

We should celebrate the success that providing water has improved the lives of millions of people. But we should also recognize that for millions more, this is not the case. There is significantly more work to be done.

Everyone can participate in conserving water, thus enabling optimum use. Even small steps, such as turning the tap off while brushing your teeth or choosing to buy water efficient appliances, matter. Together, we make a difference.


Meet the blogger

Andy WallaceAndy Wallace is an Associate Director and Water Practice Lead at Amec Foster Wheeler. Connecting teams with specialized skills from our global staff, he has provided water solutions for clients in North America, Europe and the Middle East. Recently, he assisted a client with water planning in Mongolia, assessing options to close the water supply-demand gap and support industrial development. He enjoys working with the diversity of projects in the water sector that have a positive impact on the lives of people around the world.