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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
IPP Media - The demonstrations come in the backdrop of yesterdayâs launch of the îWorld water weekî that is been observed nationally in Musoma. With water buckets on their heads, the demonstrators demanded an...
Thomson Reuters Foundation - But farms soak up 85 percent of the country's water, above global averages, according to think-tank the îWorld Water Councilî. While improving yields and allocating more land to farmers...
March 18, 2015 Fracking opponents push statewide banSource: Tallahassee Democrat
Activists gathered Tuesday at the Capitol to push for a bill that would ban fracking in Florida and speak out against legislation they say would lay the groundwork for the controversial form of natural-gas extraction to occur.
March 18, 2015 Intensifying Calif. drought sets off alarmsSource: USA Today
As California's epic drought continues with no end in sight, it is setting off new alarms about unprecedented water shortages, increased wildfire threats, fewer crops and farmers, higher electric bills and huge economic losses...
March 16, 2015 NASA official says California has one year of water leftSource: ABC 7
An official with NASA has some dire news for California -- we have just one year of water left. Jay Famiglietti, a senior water scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, says data shows water storage in the...
March 16, 2015 Stand up to junk science on frackingSource: The Hill
America’s smart drilling revolution has bestowed numerous economic and environmental benefits. Innovative entrepreneurs who combined horizontal drilling with hydraulic fracturing have led to huge increases of domestic energy...
March 15, 2015 Why water must be on par with energy and carbon issues
Edie - A report by îthe Water Footprint Networkî explains that increasing demand for water may mean that parts of a supply chain could face significantly higher marginal costs to secure such supplies. In addition,...
March 12, 2015 Invest In Water to Prevent Conflict: New Report
Evironmental Expert - A new UN report warns that without large new water-related investments many societies worldwide will soon confront rising desperation and conflicts over life’s most essential resource.
March 11, 2015 German gas industry urges decision on fracking rulesSource: Reuters
Germany’s oil and gas industry urged the government on Monday to ensure that new gas fracking rules will support future domestic production and technological development.
March 11, 2015 Californian water crisis set to maintain global rice pricesSource: ABC.au
Rice harvest in southern New South Wales starts this month, but all eyes appear to be on Australia's competition overseas. California is heading into its fourth year of drought, which is expected to hurt its rice production again...
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