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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
March 15, 2018 Bottled Water, Brought to You by Fracking?Source: Food and Water Watch
The new Food & Water Watch report Take Back the Tap: The Big Business Hustle of Bottled Water details the deceit and trickery of the bottled water industry. Here’s one more angle to consider: The bottled water business is closely...
March 6, 2018 Climate change to drive up sea levels drastically by 2100, but it's a lot worse than we pictured earlier: NASASource: Tech 2
According to the findings detailed in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, rise in sea level may increase by up to 65 centimeteres in the next 80 years, enough to cause significant problems for coastal...
Source: Express (UK)
Thousands of homes are without water across southern England, Wales and the Midlands after bad weather caused problems with mains supplies.
February 28, 2018 Beyond Carbon: Water Risks and Sustainable InvestingSource: CFA Institute Blogs
These measures are critical to making companies more sustainable and resilient and protecting investment ... A recent study of four global investment indices — the S&P 500, Russell 1000, MSCI World, and MSCI Emerging...
February 27, 2018 Fracking Has Its Costs And Benefits -- The Trick Is Balancing ThemSource: Forbes
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is perhaps the most important energy discovery in the last half century. As a result of fracking, U.S. production of oil and natural gas has increased dramatically. This increase has abruptly...
February 23, 2018 The Missing Link: Connecting Procurement and SustainabilitySource: Triple Pundit
As Cape Town struggles to keep the taps flowing amid the worst drought in a century, agriculture is taking a hit. Water restrictions have especially impacted the fruit and vegetable industries, with 80 percent fewer potatoes...
February 22, 2018 Nestlé and Others Cashing in On U.S. Water Infrastructure CrisisSource: Food and Water Watch
Washington, D.C. – After a decline during the Great Recession, bottled water sales are back and bigger than ever—even eclipsing soda sales for the first time in 2016. But people buying bottled water might not be aware that it’s...
February 20, 2018 New Saudi Legislations Aimed at Protecting Water Resources, Ensuring SustainabilitySource: Aawsat
Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture revealed Sunday the approval of the Cabinet on the sanctions list for violations of factories and water shops in its road towards preserving water resources and ensure their...
February 15, 2018 What's Actually Behind Cape Town's Water CrisisSource: The Atlantic
What is now certain is that Cape Town will become a test case for what happens when climate change, extreme inequality, and partisan political dysfunction collide.
February 14, 2018 Does fracking adversely impact on drinking water?Source: Digital Journal
New research suggests a negative impact of hydraulic fracturing, intended to extract gas and oil, upon streams, plus downstream recreation water and drinking water. The research has been led by the University of Central...
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