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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 27, 2013 'China Is No Friend To The Environment'Source: Sky News
China is not kind to the environment. It is far and away the world's biggest consumer of coal, burning three times as much of it than America in 2012.
September 25, 2013 Colorado floodwaters menace state's ag industry
kxlo-klcm.com - Colorado farmers and ranchers are bracing for widespread damage to the agriculture industry, one of the state's leading economic engines, from deadly floodwaters that already have caused property losses estimated...
September 25, 2013 One Way to Solve Fracking’s Dirty ProblemSource: MIT Technology Review
Hydraulic fracturing—or fracking—has unlocked vast amounts of oil and natural gas from shale rock in the United States, and has the potential to do the same around the globe (see “Natural Gas Changes the Energy Map”). But...
September 23, 2013 Japan balked at steps to control Fukushima water in 2011-memo
one.trust.org - TOKYO, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Japanese authorities, now struggling to contain leaks of radioactive groundwater from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, were urged two years ago by U.S. experts to take immediate...
September 20, 2013 Four African Countries Agree To Improve Water Usage Under Un-backed Plan
bernama.com - "Removing water without a clear understanding of trans-boundary and other implications threatens water quality and has the potential to harm biodiversity and accelerate land degradation," the IAEA pointed out. The...
September 20, 2013 Colorado flooding triggers oil spills, shutdownsSource: Houston Chronicle
DENVER — Colorado's flooding shut down hundreds of natural gas and oil wells in the state's main petroleum-producing region and triggered at least two spills, temporarily suspending a multibillion-dollar drilling frenzy and...
September 19, 2013 Chemicals in Colorado Floodwaters May Pose Threats to People, PetsSource: Accuweather.com
After a week of devastating flooding, which washed out roadways and destroyed buildings, Colorado residents are now facing the threat of contaminated waters. The northeastern corner of Colorado, which contains numerous gas and...
September 18, 2013 EPA Restarts Stalled Drive to Improve Water ProtectionSource: Bloomberg
The Environmental Protection Agency restarted efforts to expand and clarify federal oversight of streams and waterways, after a previous drive provoked a backlash from representatives of farmers and home builders. The agency and...
September 18, 2013 Water issues beginning to 'permeate the mainstream'
edie.net - Water preservation and scarcity is "on the cusp" of being the next big sustainability issue, says Bloomberg's head of sustainability Lee Ballin. Speaking exclusively to edie, Ballin says businesses and Government's are...
Source: the Independent
Fracking for gas and oil in the British countryside poses such a significant risk to livestock that a moratorium should be imposed on the industry until its impact on food safety can be assessed, a leading researcher has warned.
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