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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
April 14, 2015 What environmentalists get wrong when they use the California drought to attack frackingSource: Washington Post
With the continual worsening of California’s drought, an odd argument — in some ways as much meme as argument — has arisen. It’s the notion that in the context of the drought, it’s important to cut back on the water used in...
Engineering News - "In the last decade, water has gained increased attention in the global political agenda," said World Water Council (WWC) president Benedito Braga, who pointed out that, despite global changes, such as climate...
In response to the ongoing drought, California Governor Jerry Brown has set limits on urban water use—ordering cuts of as much as 25 percent. Cities across the state will stop watering highway median strips and rip up grass in...
April 14, 2015 The mirage of public-private water
Open Democracy - If the îWorld Water Forumî is serious about its goal to implement solutions to the global water crisis, it should realise that the promise of private investment in water services was always a mirage....
April 13, 2015 Pre-Inca canals may solve Lima's water crisisSource: New Scientist
A revival of pre-Inca water technology in the mountains of the Andes is set to keep taps flowing in the drought-affected Peruvian capital, Lima. Grouting ancient canals, it turns out, is a far cheaper solution to the city's water...
OPB - "Farmers in the San Joaquin Valley have been the only ones to have their water actually completely cut off," said Dave Puglia, senior vice president with the Western Growers Association. Puglia likens the zero percent water...
April 13, 2015 California's New Era of Heat Destroys All Previous RecordsSource: Bloomberg
The California heat of the past 12 months is like nothing ever seen in records going back to 1895. The 12 months before that were similarly without precedent. And the 12 months before that? A freakishly hot year, too.
As the drought in California enters a fourth year, consumers across the country could pay the price at the supermarket. Bloomberg's Tom Randall explains.
Emirates247 - In his keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the 7th îWorld Water Forumî in the Republic of Korea, Al Jaber urged delegates to align efforts and harness their collective knowledge to devise...
April 10, 2015 GE Reduces Freshwater Use 45%
Environmental Leader - As part of its ecomagination goal to reduce our freshwater consumption, GEâs Global Research Center reviewed the 70 sites that used more than 15 million gallons of freshwater in 2013 against the...
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