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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
January 23, 2014 The Water Crisis That Rightly Caused an UproarSource: Huff Post Blog
For thousands of Americans left reeling under the ban on tap water in West Virginia, these past weeks have been just short of a nightmare. In the blink of an eye, access to the safe water we take for granted in the United States...
January 22, 2014 Climate change is NOT main cause of floods, say experts: Building on plains and cutting down trees are among the true reasons
Daily Mail - Environment Secretary Owen Paterson refused to endorse the Prime Ministerâs views and the Met Office said there was no evidence that the winter floods had been caused by man-made global warming. The 19...
January 22, 2014 Water Shortages Slow Energy Production WorldwideSource: World Bank
The World Bank is launching a new initiative at the World Future Energy Summit and International Water Summit in Abu Dhabi that will help developing countries better plan and manage scaling-up energy capacity to meet rising...
Source: The Telegraph
Cuts to spending on flood defences will cost £3 billion in future damages, the Government’s climate change adviser has warned. The number of households at risk of flood damage is also set to the increase as official spending...
January 22, 2014 Texans angrily protest fracking after 30 earthquakes hit townSource: RT
Dozens of residents from a rural Texas community traveled to the state capital on Tuesday to demand that regulators act immediately to ban hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, amidst allegations that it is to blame for a spate of...
January 21, 2014 Leak of contaminated water at Fukushima Daiichi Unit 3 may have international safety impact
enformable.com - On Saturday, workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan were operating a remote-controlled robot to remove debris on the first floor of the Unit 3 reactor building when they discovered a stream...
January 21, 2014 Dry Fields, Dirty Water: Fresh Water in American Farm Regions is in Precarious Condition
CSR Wire - It found the many strengths of the nationâs powerful food producing ... managing director of Circle of Blue and member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Water Security. âWe face...
January 21, 2014 Flammable groundwater in U.S. towns near fracking sites
examiner.com - The îEPAî has let families in three U.S. cities fend for their own safe îwaterî, according to Kate Sinding of Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). 1. Last summer, an îEPAî...
January 19, 2014 Chemical Company In West Virginia Water Crisis Files For BankruptcySource: NPR
Freedom Industries, the West Virginia company that's been blamed for a chemical spill that left around 300,000 people without water for days, has filed for bankruptcy. The chemical used in cleaning coal leaked into the Elk River...
January 16, 2014 EPA's role in response to chemical spill minimal
Charleston Gazette - Asked why, Johnson told the Gazette, "Our role right now is very limited. As we look at this ... "EPA is closely monitoring the chemical spill in Charleston and is working closely with FEMA and other federal...
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