IRISH ENGINEERS are launching an electronic advice and mentoring service for aid agencies tackling water shortages in the developing world.
'Through the revolution that has taken place in communications and information technology, this contribution can now be supported. . .
through virtual volunteering and e-mentoring, ' said Institution of Engineers of Ireland President Peter Langford.
He said that engineers were also best placed to turn the seemingly abstract concept of sustainable development into a reality.
'Kofi Annan, secretary general of the United Nations, declared that the biggest challenge of this century is to turn the seemingly abstract concept of sustainable development into a reality for all the world's people, ' said Langford.
'The engineering profession is ideally placed to take on this challenge. In our daily lives we must create awareness and promote sustainability among those with whom we are engaged, ' he said.
The IEI is preparing a paper on delivering sustainable development for the Irish government and Northern Ireland Assembly.
'One key issue to be addressed by engineers is the need to ensure that plans and designs for projects in the future will cater for the inevitable consequences of climate change, ' he said.
'A case in point is the predicted change in rainfall patterns which will directly affect Ireland's water supply regime.
'To respond to this the Institution has set up a high level task force to prepare a submission to government on delivering sustainable water services for the 21st century.'
Langford said Irish engineers were also heavily involved with improving water supplies to the developing world.