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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
November 22, 2013 Great Lakes levels rise, but slump hasn’t endedSource: Las Vega Sun
Federal scientists say Great Lakes water levels are up sharply this year because of heavy rain and snow. But it's too early to declare an end to the slump that has affected most of the system since the late 1990s. The drop-off...
November 21, 2013 Future water shortage focus of projectsSource: Community Impact
With Proposition 6’s passage Nov. 5—which sets aside $2 billion from the state’s rainy day fund for water projects—a renewed focus has been brought to coming up with the most effective ways to make sure statewide water supply...
November 20, 2013 Celebrities Demand Obama, State Officials Ban Fracking NowSource: Huff Post
The campaign to end fracking just got star-studded. In a series of videos calling for an end to fracking, celebrity environmental advocates demanded several elected officials explain “what the frack” they’re thinking by...
November 20, 2013 The Future of Water SustainabilitySource: Huff Post
Multinational companies have historically taken water availability for granted. But this is changing. A 2013 World Economic Forum report named water scarcity as one of the top global risks facing companies in the 21st century. So...
November 19, 2013 Texas Drought Will Harm Wildlife Habitat for Years
weather.com - CANADIAN, Texas (AP) -- In a muddy pile of sand where a pond once flowed in the Texas Panhandle, dead fish, their flesh already decayed and feasted on by maggots, lie with their mouths open. Nearby, deer munch on...
November 19, 2013 Strict gas industry standards unveiledSource: Durango Herald
DENVER – Gov. John Hickenlooper proposed the country’s strictest rules on methane air pollution from gas and oil fields Monday. Environmental groups and three gas and oil companies – Encana, Anadarko and Noble Energy – hashed out...
November 18, 2013 Cities Raise Alarms Over EPA’s Surprise Hydrant Lead RuleSource: Bloomberg
Philadelphia has 119 fire hydrants that cost about $2,000 each waiting in a warehouse to be installed, yet they sit high and dry because federal regulators say their fittings might taint drinking water with lead.
November 15, 2013 Surprises flow from new water reports
GreenBiz - The past few weeks marked measurable progress in understanding water risk, the development of water stewardship strategies and collective action, thanks in large part to the release of the CDP Global 500 Water Report...
Source: San Jose Mercury News
Twenty of the nation's top climate scientists have sent a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown, telling him that his plans supporting increased use of the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," will increase...
November 14, 2013 Could water bottles be the next plastic bags?Source: UT San Diego
The designer water market could be the greatest snow job since the Ice Age. Treated H2O from a faucet is virtually free, certifiably potable and plentiful. But sensitive drinkers (nearly half the country) believe their tap...
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