Water & Wastewater Asia • September / October 2018 38 | INSIGHT water’s true power? What is A resource and necessity often taken for granted, water is more than just the precious resource flowing out of our taps with a flick of our fingers. Water is also an economic boon, raging element, enabler of nature… and a terrifying force if not properly harnessed. Although growth in Southeast Asia is expected to be the highest in the world, the region is still prone to flooding A resource without which there will be no life, balancing the presence of water and its quantity is a necessity. Immediate issues such as too much water can cause floods and related damage, while drought threatens water security. But in fact, water-related problems go much deeper than that. From affecting natural ecosystems to disturbing weather patterns, water is a far more precious resource than many may assume, and as such, its reach and sphere of influence extends far beyond what many may imagine, affecting the very core of life and industry itself. Recently, Water & Wastewater Asia had the opportunity to chat with Professor Jeff Obbard, executive director and environmental consultant at Tembusu Asia Consulting, Singapore & Southeast Asia, to talk about the impact water has on the world, economically, socially, and environmentally, especially in this era of climate change. THE HYDROLOGICAL CYCLE The hydrological cycle, or water cycle, begins with water evaporation, and as the moist air continues lifting into the sky, cools to water vapour, condensing to form clouds. From there, the moisture is transported around the world, blown about by wind, until returning to the earth’s surface through precipitation, such as rain or snow.