AC Alert for April 5, 2011
You're in a lot of hot water!
Face it, we've all been told that "you're in a lot of hot water" at some time in our lives. Perhaps it was a parent scolding us for doing something stupid. Or maybe our high school teacher who flunked us in a course for the semester. Even a spouse may have directed those feared words at us at one time or another. We can think of many situations in life where the expression fits the moment.
Something about the words "water" and "hot" seem to go together. And so it was several years back when our AC editors, using their nose-for-news, created a special Hot Top section on water quantity and quality. Our intent was to have a central repository with easy access from the AC Home Page where we could post the very latest information regarding the world's supply of water, both from a qualitative and a quantitative view. We knew at the time that water was becoming a worldwide hot topic but even we are at times surprised at some of the subjects of the most recent entries in this section.
For example, on March 28th, we posted this article: Fukushima's partial meltdown increases fears of contaminated seawater and soil. Source: (Source Guardian.Co UK) Who could have ever predicted the magnitude of the Japanese earthquake and the huge role that water would continue to play as the event unfolded, in so many aspects – sea water crashing in, fresh water needed for cooling nuclear rods, fresh water for drinking, waste water to be disposed of, and more.
Here's another water related issue that's taking on a life if its own: Sitting atop huge gas reserves, Maryland debates the drilling practice known as fracking Source: (Source: The Washington Post). An issue which has been bubbling beneath the surface (pardon the pun) in upstate New York and Pennsylvania is now reaching the outer limits of the Washington Beltway, assuring even more media scrutiny in the months ahead. And perhaps federal government intervention to address safety and health issues. We will bring you the news.
These are just two examples of the wide range of information AC offers every day in our water hot topics section. There is major concern about the world's water supply, even without the impact of natural disasters such as the recent earthquake in Japan. Sadly, the situation appears to be getting worse rather than 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; Syria; Pakistan; China; India; Ireland; Australia; and many countries in Africa.
The threat has been recognized to some degree throughout the globe by governments, corporations and activists group who are bringing the problem to the forefront by helping to develop both short-and long-term solutions. AC keeps a close eye on the issues and brings you the latest news, commentary and research. Here are some recent excerpts:
Looming water crisis
(Source: Daily News-Pakistan) Water availability in Pakistan continues to decrease, both in total amount of water and the per capita water availability. At present, the country is facing a water shortage of 13%, which will increase to 21% in 2011 and 50% in 2025.
Pennsylvania environment chief now must approve any shale-drilling citations
(Source: Philly.com) Inspectors in Pennsylvania have been ordered to stop issuing violations against drillers without prior approval from Gov. Corbett's new environmental chief. The change drew a chorus of outrage from environmental advocates.
Experts warn of growing water crisis in world's major cities
(Source: Xinhaunet) Major cities worldwide may face a water shortage crisis by 2050 if relevant governments don't react quickly according to a leading environmental group. The water shortage will mostly affect basic daily needs such as drinking, cooking, bathing and washing clothes, and the poor residents of the world’s major cities in developing countries are the ones who will suffer most.
Gov. expected to declare California’s drought over
(Source: Los Angeles Times) Gov. Jerry Brown is about to make official what a winter of downpours and rising reservoir levels has already made obvious: California's drought is over.
Japan: Food And Water Contamination
(Source: The Insider) Japan faces food and water contamination concerns on top of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis. The concerns about tainted food and water add extra psychological, sociological and economic dimensions on top of the severe assaults the Japanese people have recently endured.
Taiwan could face water shortage in 10 years: official
(Source: Focus Taiwan) Taiwan could be plagued by a water shortage 10 years from now if it fails to cut water consumption and effectively contain water leakage.
Gas drillers reuse two-thirds of water, expert finds
(Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review) A Penn State University researcher has found that Marcellus Shale gas drilling companies reused at least two-thirds of the water returned to the surface during 30 days of drilling.
Fracking Tide Turns -- Frackers Get Mean
(Source: Huffington Post) The PR tide seems to be turning against fracking, and predictably, the political rhetoric from the gas industry and its allies is turning nasty.
Should Leaseholders Trust Nat Gas Companies to Honor Signed Leases?
(Source:Mike Benard) “Butter job” is a phrase coined by a property owner I know to describe how natural gas companies substitute words for deeds. The difference between words (“butter jobs”) and deeds is important to property owners who want to...
A graphic look at the world water crisis
(Source: Montreal Gazette) Through much of the world, water is a physical scarcity. In Africa and other parts of the southern hemisphere, water is an economic scarcity, which means an adequate supply is not economically feasible. The problem will get worse over the next century.
The Editors of Accountability Central work to bring you the latest on the many facets of water issues -- especially quality and quantity – as part of the focus in our Hot Topic section 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. Since this section was first created the editors have screened tens of thousands of articles and posted almost 1,000 stories, commentaries and reports. There seems little doubt that water quality and quantity is going to be a continuing Hot Topic for AC reader in the foreseeable future.
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