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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 20, 2014 Gallery: 25th anniversary of Exxon Valdez spill in AlaskaSource: Bellingham Herald
Crude oil from the tanker Exxon Valdez, top, swirls on the surface of Alaska’s Prince William Sound near Naked Island on April 9, 1989. The 987-foot tanker, carrying 53 million gallons of crude, struck Bligh Reef at 12:04 a.m. on...
The World Water Council is warning Sao Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city, to take emergency measures to conserve water as the region reels from a record drought or risk supply shortages during the World Cup. Sabesp, as Brazil’s...
Chinese authorities pulled 131 dead pigs from a river that provides drinking water to a city of almost 5 million people, prompting new health concerns a year after thousands of dead hogs were found in a Shanghai waterway
March 19, 2014 120 Nations Meet in Attempt to Avert Global Water Crisis
Tree Hugger - That's the grim finding of a report issued by the UN last week, and it's one of the main reasons that 120 countries have convened in Istanbul for a îWorld Water Forumî in order to address the burgeoning...
theguardian.com - Big advancements in wastewater treatment could be coming from an unexpected source: the oil and gas industry. The growth of fracking brings with it a heavy demand for water, and that's straining water supplies,...
March 18, 2014 Whose Water? Ours! How to End California's Water CrisisSource: Huff Post
It's sounding again like the drought of 1976-77: "Shower with a friend." "Put a brick in your toilet tank." "Fix your leaky faucet." "Replace your lawn with a cactus garden." And then the pictures: denuded ski slopes, boat docks...
Water World - The event will be organized by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF), with support from national, state...
March 14, 2014 Obama to sign relief from flood insurance hikesSource: San Jose Mercury News
WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama is set to sign into law a bipartisan bill relieving homeowners living in flood-prone neighborhoods from big increases in their insurance bills. The legislation, which cleared Congress on...
US Given green light to work again with oil giant...The ban had been imposed on the British company in 2012 after Federal regulators had concluded that BP had not effectively addressed the issue that lead to the catastrophic oil...
March 14, 2014 Measures to save water crucial to avert crisis (SingaporeSource: Today Online
About 51 per cent of the freshwater used in Singapore is for industrial needs, based on World Bank indicators for 2011. NEWater complements this supply, with a small percentage blended with raw water in reservoirs for...
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