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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
September 19, 2016 Is California Cursed With Drought For the Rest of Time?Source: Inverse
alifornia has experienced droughts that lasted longer than most human civilizations do, and the next drought could well last longer than any of us are going to be around for.
Indian and foreign technology companies including global outsourcing firm Accenture closed offices and told staff to stay at home in the technology hub of Bengaluru on Tuesday after riots over the diversion of water from a river.
September 6, 2016 The media loves doomsday stories about the West’s water crisis. Here’s what they miss.Source: Vox
With California facing the worst drought in the historical record and Lake Mead dropping to its lowest level ever, there are plenty of worries that the region’s vast agricultural regions will one day wither and cities will run...
September 6, 2016 Coca-Cola says it's the first Fortune 500 company to 'balance' its water footprintSource: Mashable
The Atlanta-based beverage giant recently estimated it had returned roughly 192 billion liters of water to the communities and watersheds near hundreds of its bottling plants in 2015 — or about 115 percent of all the water used...
More than 300 million people in Asia, Africa and Latin America are at risk of life-threatening diseases like cholera and typhoid due to the increasing pollution of water in rivers and lakes, the United Nations Environment...
Source: WFPL Radio
A study of drinking water systems found 6 million Americans, including people in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio, are living with drinking water containing chemicals linked to a host of health problems.
All eyes are turned toward Rio de Janeiro to watch top athletes from all over the world compete. Yet the headlines continue to highlight the problems with the water quality and the risks to the athletes who swim, row and sail,...
August 11, 2016 How to Find Out If Your Drinking Water Is SafeSource: Time
A recent study found that millions of Americans are consuming water from a public supply contaminated with dangerous levels of polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl, otherwise known as PFASs.
China plans to spend a total of 430 billion yuan ($65 billion) on around 4,800 separate projects aimed at improving the quality of its water supplies, the environment ministry said late on Monday.
Source: The Columbus Dispatch
Climate scientists have said for decades that global warming should lead to an increase in extreme weather such as heat waves and droughts. Because more water evaporates from the oceans and warmer air holds more moisture, climate...
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