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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 8, 2015 11 North Texas Earthquakes In Around 27 HoursSource: CBS Dallas-Fort Worth
North Texas has been rattled by 11 earthquakes in just over one day. The latest one took place just before 10:00 a.m. and measured 2.7 in magnitude. Another quake about 90 minutes earlier registered in at a 2.6 in magnitude
January 7, 2015 Drought caused largest 'dead zone' in Lake Erie since the 1980sSource: Science Codex
Lake Erie has experienced harmful algal blooms and severe oxygen-depleted "dead zones" for years and the widespread drought in 2012 added to that, bringing with it the largest dead zone since the mid-1980s. Though it occurs each...
January 5, 2015 Governmentst mobilized for 'water for our future'
Republika Online - s Ministerial Statement, îWorld Water Councilî said in a press statement, Friday (19/12) This inter-governmental process led by the host country of the World Water Forum and the îWorld Water...
December 31, 2014 China firms fined record $26m for polluting riverSource: PHYS.org
Six Chinese companies have been fined $26 million for discharging tens of thousands of tonnes of waste chemicals into rivers, state media said, the biggest such penalty ever in China.
Source: National Geographic
Minerals taken from Belize's famous underwater cave, known as the Blue Hole, as well as lagoons nearby, show that an extreme, century-long drought occurred between A.D. 800 and A.D. 900, right when the Mayan civilization...
December 30, 2014 New York takes the wrong approach to ‘fracking’ - EditorialSource: Washington Post
NEW YORK Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) claimed an ignoble distinction this month: He became the first governor of a state with large deposits of natural gas to ban “fracking,” or hydraulic fracturing, the controversial but highly...
December 30, 2014 Is Water The New Bottom Line For The Private Sector'
wateronline.com - The 2014 îCarbon Disclosure Projectî Water Disclosure Global Report, conducted on behalf of 573 investors with assets of $60 trillion, reported that 68 percent of responding companies say water is a...
December 29, 2014 Drought brought permanent changes to California water policy in 2014Source: The San Gabriel Valley Tribune
California’s prolonged drought left an indelible mark on state water policy and homeowners alike in 2014. For the first time in the raucous history of water in California, regulation of groundwater basins was approved, the state...
December 22, 2014 Environmentalists Take From Farmers With NY State Fracking BanSource: Forbes
That New York State has decided, effectively, to ban fracking (subject, of course, to “further studies”) can be taken in two ways. One is as a great victory for the environmental movement. The other is as a taking, a movement of...
December 22, 2014 EPA decision not to classify coal ash as hazardous angers environmentalists - text/audioSource: PBS
The past few years, and a pair of major spills into waterways and communities have brought a whole new concern about the coal industry to the forefront. It’s about a byproduct called coal ash.
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