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Water Quality and Quantity Issues, News and Updates
Water, water everywhere --- and not a drop to drink...”
(from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
Water – Quality & Quantity – A Very Hot Topic
Updated January 2011
“Demand for water is projected to outstrip supply by a staggering 40 percent by 2030, and an estimated half the world’s population are likely to live in areas of high water stress by the same year” -- so states Paul Dickinson, Executive Chairman of the Carbon Disclosure Project in the CDP Water Disclosure 2010 Global Report. The situation is getting worse rather than getting better. The pressures of over-population, climate change and increased use per capita are all causing water stresses, although unevenly, throughout the globe.
Current impacted areas in the news include the Southwestern and Southeastern regions of the United States; China; India; Ireland; the Middle East region; Australia; and many countries in Africa. The threat has been recognized and throughout the globe and governments, corporations and activists groups are bringing the problem to the forefront and helping to craft and influence both short and long term solutions.
Since this section was first created in 1998, the editors have screened tens of thousands of articles and posted almost 1,000 stories, commentaries and reports. Water – quality and quantity is continuing to be a Hot Topic for AC readers. As many pundits are saying…water is becoming the new carbon.
In 2006 the United Nations World Water Development Report described the state of water on our planet as a “crisis of governance.” While the world appears to have enough fresh water supply today, the issue is one of governance, as in water distribution, management and quality control practices. Water quality appears to be degrading in many areas, our monitoring tells us, and water quantity (supply) is a huge issue in many of the world’s regions.
Due to a number of factors -- mismanagement, limited area resources, and environmental changes, some caused by climate change -- almost one-fifth of the planet’s population still lacks access to safe drinking water and 40 per cent of the world’s population lacks access to basic sanitation. Access to water is further restricted by national and governmental entities that regulate where the water flows, who has access and for what purpose the water is used.
Water is also used as an economic, health and environmental weapon by the “haves” over the “have-nots.” Governments “determine who gets what water, when and how, and decide who has the right to water and related services,” said the report authors. Water availability is also related to a range of issues intimately connected to water, from health and food security to economic development, land use, and the preservation of the natural ecosystems on which the water resources depend.
Water quality is declining in most regions of the Earth. Regional over- population, increased industrialization, absence of proper waste water treatment -- are all contributing to the emerging crisis. Poor water quality is a key cause of poor livelihood and health. An estimated 1.6 million lives (directly or indirectly connected to water quality issues and their related diseases) could be saved each year by providing more access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene to the world’s poorest regions.
Access to water is not only a Third World or emerging nations’ issue -- droughts in the U.S. Southeast and quantity issues in the Southwest and in California have brought conservation, control and distribution issues to the public’s attention in the past few years. Water in the United States is a key factor to residential and commercial development, economic stability and job growth – all issues which effect local and regional communities’ economic well-being. Water in the USA is critical to the health of agriculture and related industries. Corporations are in the spotlight for their use of water – advocates and third party researchers are developing “water footprints” (similar to “carbon footprints”) for leading companies, such as Coca Cola, Nestle and other water-intensive industries and sectors.
The Editors of Accountability Central work to bring the many facets of Water issues -- especially quality and quantity -- into focus with news, commentary and research. Education on the issues, public discussion and rising concern can help to bring about real and positive changes and sensible and fair solutions to the problems at hand. Perhaps this public forum can help in some small way. The Institute maintains a robust focus on water issues and the key players in its subscription Web-accessed knowledge management platform Sustainability HQ – click here for more information:www.sustainabilityhq.com.
Latest on Water - Quality & Quantity
Source: LA Times
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power on Wednesday doubled the estimated amount of water lost in a massive main break that flooded UCLA to 20 million gallons. A section of Sunset Boulevard pummeled by the geyser that...
July 31, 2014 Drought Watch: Water for the EnvironmentSource: PUBLIC ceo
The ongoing drought has heightened tension over how water is allocated in California. In our recent publication on overall water use in California, we show that the environment uses the largest share—50%—of the state’s water. In...
July 31, 2014 Polluted waters of China - Slide ShowSource: Reuters
Growing cities, overuse of fertilizers, and factory wastewater have degraded China’s water supplies to the extent that half the nation’s rivers and lakes are severely polluted.
German water supplies will become increasingly threatened this century as climate change raises the risk of droughts and water shortages in the country. While Germany is considered water-rich, more water evaporates than falls...
July 30, 2014 Virtual Water Shortage By 2040Source: Science2.0
Two new papers postulate that there will be a water crisis by 2040. Not because of population, but because of current energy and power solutions. And they believe solar and wind power is the only answer. In most countries,...
Source: Mother Jones
As Ukraine sinks deeper into crisis, the oil and gas industry is pressing the United States to deploy its abundant natural gas supply as a weapon against Russia—and lawmakers of both parties are lining up behind the proposal. "We...
July 29, 2014 GAO: Fracking Could Threaten Clean Drinking WaterSource: Philly Mag.com
A new report from the Government Accountability Office suggests the federal Environmental Protection Agency has fallen somewhat short in its duties to ensure that that gas production in Pennsylvania — using the “fracking”...
July 29, 2014 A sustainable water strategy is good for businessSource: The Guardian
For many companies the true cost of water is often hidden on the balance sheet, but an effective water management plan can transform the economic prospects of a business
July 28, 2014 We'll wage wars over water, say expertsSource: ABC
The risk of wars being fought over water is rising because of explosive global population growth and widespread complacency, an international conference has heard. "We have had oil wars," said Professor William Mitsch of Ohio...
The UK government will allow fracking in national parks and heritage sites in “exceptional circumstances,” say new guidelines. Around half of the UK is now open to shale gas exploitation, despite growing public concern over the...
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