Reading the articles in this newsletter made me re member my childhood. For many years my father took his daughters swimming at the weekend. My sisters and I learned to swim and we took our first jumps from the 1m block with him. At the swimming pool it was always nice and warm and especially in wintertime we enjoyed how the pool simulated summer. Later I went to lakes or rivers to enjoy water and exploring a beach in the summer was unbeatable. Were there risks? Of course! But as a child you often don‘t see them unless they are communicated clearly. It is easy to remember not to go swimming if the red flag is raised. It might be because of bad weather conditions, algal blooms, contamination or something else. No matter what it is, we know to just stick to the rule and lives will be saved. We often don’t know what happens behind the scenes. How much technology is needed to make a swimming pool run and make it safe to use? What does it take to move from different sorts of data to creating a model, to a warning mechanism protecting bathers at the seaside? And if this is not enough, there are always new threats popping up. How can we predict risks from climate-associated changes? Modeling risks is becoming more complex, so we need to predict the changes, prepare for them and develop adaptation mechanisms.
Regardless, all around the globe people enjoy recreational activities involving water. Water is naturally attractive to humans, making it difficult to resist. If there is a small puddle, children will start playing in it. It’s a simple source of happiness putting a smile on their faces. There is only one limit: One needs to have a little spare time. It is still the case that many children have to fetch drinking water far from their homes. They spend hours on this hard work and have no time for leisure. Increasing access to safe drinking water for all is still a challenge. Every effort being made in this field has to be highly appreciated as it allows more people to enjoy the beautiful aspects of water.
I hope that you find some time and enjoy reading this issue of the Water & Risk Newsletter.
Best wishes for 2012