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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
Hydrologists here have simulated how saltwater will intrude into fresh water aquifers, given the sea level rise predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC has concluded that within the next 100...
March 18, 2019 Powering sustainable solutions from the little red dotSource: Reuters
By 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population could be living under water-stressed conditions, and by 2030 the global demand for fresh water could exceed the supply by 40 per cent, according to the United Nations. Finding...
California is officially free of drought after more than seven years, drought monitors said Thursday.The Golden State has experienced some form of drought for 376 consecutive weeks, the National Drought Mitigation Center at...
Source: Independent Online
Cape Town - Access to drinking water and basic sanitation is a right and one of the sustainable development goals of the UN. It is a condition for human life. However, up to 2 billion people on the planet do not have access to a...
Source: The Guardian
Almost every coal-fired power plant in the US is contaminating groundwater with unsafe levels of toxic pollution, according to the first comprehensive analysis of the consequences of coal ash waste disposal.
February 28, 2019 Editorial: Don’t turn water-quality protection over to private interestsSource: The Columbus Dispatch
Under the proposed Water Quality Certified Professional Program, the companies’ own consultants could, with training, be certified by the state to evaluate their own permit applications. Decisions on whether to allow a...
February 27, 2019 J.Crew and sister brand Madewell launched new sustainable denim collections that use less water, chemicals, and energy to produceSource: Business Insider
As a result of the new partnership, both J.Crew and Madewell recently launched their first Fair Trade Certified denim collections. In teaming up with Fair Trade USA, J.Crew Group also partnered with Saitex, the leading producer...
February 26, 2019 Developing world drought threat to EU rice and cotton intensifies research effortsSource: Phys.org
Can you imagine the chocolate industry without cocoa,' said Dr Ercin, from the Water Footprint Network, a Dutch non-governmental organisation which is part of the IMPREX project. 'These (industries) are so vulnerable, and that is...
Source: The Conversation
Many parts of Queensland have been declared disaster zones and thousands of residents evacuated due to a 1-in-100-year flood. Townsville is at the epicentre of the “unprecedented” monsoonal downpour that brought more than a...
February 5, 2019 Global warming predicted to melt massive Himalayan glaciers, disrupt food productionSource: USA Today
Global warming is on track to transform the frigid, glacier-covered mountain peaks ... to bare rocks in a little less than a century....The glaciers are now a critical source of water for about 250 million people in the mountains...
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