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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 28, 2013 My view: Say no to Water Pipeline agreement
Deseret News - Utahns are not willing to die for the sins of Las Vegas. Brian Moench is the president of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment and a member of the îUnion of Concerned Scientistsî. > 1862
March 28, 2013 Natural Gas Lobbyist Takes on Obama on FrackingSource: Bloomberg
The new head of a U.S. natural gas trade group said he will seek to raise the industry’s visibility as the Obama administration considers regulations that may limit hydraulic fracturing for the fuel.
March 28, 2013 Small Towns Find Fracking Brings Boom, Booming HeadachesSource: Bloomberg
Towns that have already experienced the U.S. boom in natural-gas exploration using hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, hold lessons for dealing with mineral-rights disputes, pollution concerns and increased strains on roads,...
March 27, 2013 Quake Tied to Oil-Drilling Waste Adds Pressure for RulesSource: Bloomberg
Scientists have linked Oklahoma’s biggest recorded earthquake to the disposal of wastewater from oil production, adding to evidence that may lead to greater regulation of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas.
March 27, 2013 Half the length of U.S. streams and rivers in poor conditionSource: LA Times
The news from a comprehensive national survey of river and stream health is not good: Only about a fifth of the length of America’s rivers and streams is in good biological condition, while 55% is in poor shape.
Source: Huff Post
One of the most fascinating and disturbing issues that comes up again and again around fracking is the multitude of exemptions and entitlements that have been handed to the industry at the expense of citizens. Exemptions from the...
March 26, 2013 Are African land grabs really water grabs'
CNN - Grabbers often take advantage of this legal complexity. In Ghana, according to research by the îInternational Water Management Instituteî, the separation of land and water rights created the space for water...
March 26, 2013 New panel to advise EPA on ‘fracking’Source: The Hill
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Monday announced the formation of an independent body to peer-review that agency’s research on hydraulic fracturing, as the Obama administration weighs new regulations.
March 26, 2013 U.N. session urges greater focus on risk reduction as water-related crises set to growSource: Reuters
Water-related disasters look set to become more frequent and more costly, meaning countries must put a greater emphasis on risk-reduction planning, said experts at a recent United Nations gathering.
March 26, 2013 Newspapers seek release of shale settlementSource: Reuters
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Washington Observer-Reporter have returned to court to force the release of the confidential settlement ending a claim by a Mount Pleasant family that Marcellus Shale gas development damaged...
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