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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 4, 2014 Water Wars: Californians Stealing From Hydrants Amid DroughtSource: ABC News
The worsening drought in California is taking a toll on citizens, some of whom are stealing water in the middle of the night from fire hydrants, officials said.
September 3, 2014 Why 2014 is the year of the energy-water nexus
Green Biz - Held every year in Stockholm, Sweden, World Water Week is led by the îStockholm International Water Instituteî and serves as a platform for over 200 collaborating organizations and 2,500 participants from...
September 3, 2014 New Survey Of The Effects Of Climate Change On India's Water Supplies Offers Hope For Water Stressed Regions
wateronline.com - "It is critical that we adopt a multi-level approach to the problem of climate change and water management," says Dr. K Palanisami of the îInternational Water Management Instituteî and a coeditor of...
September 3, 2014 China has more shale gas than any other country. But getting it out of the ground could be disastrous
Quartz - Thereâs a catch, though. More than three-fifths of Chinaâs shale resources are in areas where water is very hard to come by, as a new study by îWorld Resources Instituteî details. Thatâs...
September 3, 2014 Water experts urge environmental rules for shale gas extraction
one.trust.org - energy and food nexus at the îStockholm International Water Instituteî (SIWI). âBefore that, we need to first understand clearly the impact of such extraction, devise policies based on that...
Source: Science Recorder
Researchers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia, estimate that there are at least five huge garbage patches polluting the world’s oceans, some as big as the state of Texas. Using computer modeling,...
September 3, 2014 California's 100-year droughtSource: USA Today
California is in the third year of one of the state's worst droughts in the past century, one that's led to fierce wildfires, water shortages and restrictions, and potentially staggering agricultural losses.
September 2, 2014 7 reasons to claim water for life, not for coal
Greenpeace International - That someone must be YOU. Right now the most important event of the year on global water issues, îWorld Water Weekî, is happening in Stockholm, Sweden. More than 200 organisations from...
September 2, 2014 Drinking or fracking' Report finds top shale plays globally are in places with scarce water
FORTUNE - A new study by the global research organization îWorld Resources Instituteî (WRI) found that the best shale deposits where the fracking would be done are in places like China, Mexico and South Africa,...
September 2, 2014 Opportunity Costs: Evidence Suggests Variability, Not Scarcity, Primary Driver of Water Conflict
newsecuritybeat.org - While the îIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Changeî (IPCC) forecasts an increase in total precipitation at the global level, regional patterns will vary significantly. Rainfall is projected to...
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