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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
September 21, 2018 This satellite image shows Florence's floodwaters polluting the AtlanticSource: CNN
As the Carolinas' swollen rivers crest, their "polluted floodwaters" are dumping out into the Atlantic, visibly discoloring the water offshore, federal experts have noted.
Rescue teams have been trying to reach hundreds of stranded people and racing against rising rivers and floods that could last for days after Florence dumped record rain on the Carolinas and killed at least 31 people.
September 18, 2018 Can Banning Privatization Keep Water Cheap, Safe, and Flowing?Source: City Lab
Privatizing a city’s water system tends to produce a dual outcome: Pipes, once rusty, get sleek; rates get steep. When water went private in Bayonne, New Jersey, local ratepayers started paying an extra 28 percent for water; and...
September 17, 2018 Labour is divided over its proposed fracking ban – Cuadrilla chief (UK)Source: The Guardian
The shale gas explorer Cuadrilla has accused the Labour party of being divided on its proposed fracking ban and of unnecessarily politicising the search for shale gas.
September 17, 2018 Florence: Duke unsure if coal ash from landfill collapse has gotten into Cape Fear RiverSource: Citizen-Times
Heavy rains from Florence caused a slope to collapse at a coal ash landfill at a closed power station near the North Carolina coast, Duke Energy says.
September 14, 2018 The case for fracking: Delays in decision costing Nova Scotians millionsSource: Chronicle Herald
With an estimated 1.6-plus trillion cubic feet of natural gas literally under foot, Nova Scotian policy makers are choking out the economic growth potential for their province and communities with bad public policy.
September 12, 2018 A water shortage is in Arizona's future, like it or not. Here's how to survive itSource: AX Central
Arizona's goal shouldn't be to avoid a water shortage completely on Lake Mead, but to ensure the coming shortages don't turn into larger ones.
September 10, 2018 Sweden and UN Environment Announce $5 Million Project to Beat Plastic Pollution in Southeast AsiaSource: United Nations Environment
Sweden, UN Environment and the Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA) today announced efforts to combat marine litter and plastic pollution in Southeast Asia over the coming four years, through a project that aims to...
September 4, 2018 UK water companies promise less leakageSource: Reuters
(Reuters) - Three of England’s big water companies unveiled plans on Monday to cut leakages and improve services while keeping prices at least flat in real terms after their performance was questioned in the country’s...
Source: Texas Tribunes
A report by Environment Texas and the Frontier Group warns that more than half of Texas beaches tested for bacterial contamination were unsafe for swimming on at least one day during 2017.
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