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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
February 13, 2017 Officials Order Evacuation For Residents Below Calif. DamSource: NPR
At least 188,000 people remain under evacuation orders after Northern California authorities warned an emergency spillway in the country's tallest dam was in danger of failing Sunday and unleashing uncontrolled flood waters on...
February 13, 2017 Could these five innovations help solve the global water crisis?Source: The Guardian
A number of creative approaches aim to increase access to clean water in developing countries. We asked two experts to assess some of them.
February 7, 2017 The Importance of Regulating Lead in Drinking WaterSource: Huff Post
New York City’s drinking water is among the best in the world, but the high quality of water delivered to some of our buildings may become contaminated within them. Many of our buildings are decades old, some from the 19th...
February 3, 2017 Can China Solve Central Asia’s Impending Water Crisis?Source: The National Interest
China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative has become a major foreign policy priority. The land-based Silk Road Economic Belt aims to expand China’s economic connections and political influence across much of Eurasia through vast...
February 2, 2017 How corporations are changing our freshwater futureSource: GreenBiz
Less than 1 percent of all the water on Earth is both fresh and accessible for drinking, irrigation, power generation and environmental benefits. As
February 2, 2017 Why the Dakota Access Pipeline May Not Proceed Imminently Despite Presidential MemoSource: ABC News
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may issue an easement in the coming days needed to finish the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, according to two Republican lawmakers. But statements from the Army and the project's opponents...
January 31, 2017 China auditor says 17.6 billion yuan of funds to fight water pollution misused: XinhuaSource: Reuters
China’s audit office found that 17.6 billion yuan ($2.56 billion) earmarked for water pollution prevention work in 2016 was not effectively used, Xinhua reported Sunday.
Source: Truth Out
The sad story of Flint, Michigan, gained national attention because it was a crisis that was entirely avoidable, at least for the time being.
January 27, 2017 Nearly Half of California Emerges from DroughtSource: NPR
Heavy precipitation is erasing years of extremely dry conditions in parts of California, with the latest federal report showing that just over 51 percent of the state remains in drought — and no areas have the worst rating,...
January 26, 2017 EPA spending freeze could hurt Colo. drinking water safetySource: The Coloradoan
EPA spending freeze could hurt Colo. drinking water safety The EPA has awarded 22 active Colorado grants worth tens of million of dollars Check out this story on coloradoan.com: http://noconow.co/2kqygmX
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