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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
December 6, 2016 Warming U.S. Could See Extreme Rains Increase FivefoldSource: Scientific America
More frequent, intense storms will put significant strain on infrastructure and agriculture
December 6, 2016 House, Senate leaders reach deal on Calif. drought, FlintSource: Washington Post
WASHINGTON — House and Senate leaders reached agreement Monday on a bipartisan bill to authorize $170 million for Flint, Michigan, and other cities beleaguered by lead in drinking water, and to provide relief to drought-stricken...
November 29, 2016 Shale Fracking Rebound Starts With Costlier Grains of SandSource: Bloomberg
The oilfield service companies that supply everything from sand to sophisticated robot rigs are seeking a new lease on life as America’s fracking fortunes begin to turn.
November 29, 2016 Investors Come Together To Urge Meat Producers To Stop Water PollutionSource: Water Online
Members of the nonprofit sustainability advocate Ceres and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility are working together to urge some the country’s largest meat producers to develop policies to reduce water pollution in...
November 29, 2016 Wettest start in 30 years to rainy season in Northern California, but don’t forget the droughtSource: Sacromento Bee
The National Weather Service said Monday that the rainy season in the northern Sierra Nevada is off to its wettest start in 30 years. Mountain conditions are critically important to monitoring the drought because a major share of...
November 29, 2016 Norwegian Fund Coming To America to Assess DAPL
Oil Price - Norway's pension fund Kommunal Landspensjonskasse (KLP) has become the latest in a string of indirect investors in the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) project to assess the state of the DAPL construction...
November 28, 2016 This Country (Bolivia) Is Running Out of Water Amid Historic DroughtSource: Eco Watch
The government of Bolivia, a landlocked country in the heart of South America, has been forced to declare a state of emergency as it faces its worst drought in at least 25 years.
November 22, 2016 The Dead Sea is drying out at an alarming rate - text/videoSource: AOL News
The lake is shrinking by about 3.3 feet per year due to water resources being diverted from it for the use of a pipeline to supply water to Israel.
November 16, 2016 Hundreds hospitalized in Southeast firesSource: CNN
Over 30 large fires have burned more than 80,000 acres in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky, according to the US Forest
November 9, 2016 Water at England's beaches is cleanest on recordSource: The Guardian
Dry summer, tighter regulations and more spending by water companies sees 98.5% of beaches monitored by the Environment Agency meet EU standards
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