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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
April 28, 2021 Coral Gables is out in front in implementing sustainable and green initiatives | OpinionSource: Miami Herald
city officials accelerated efforts six years ago and adopted a Sustainability Management Plan that establishes goals for reducing energy and water consumption, fuel usage and overall greenhouse-gas emissions over a 10-year...
Source: Clean Technica
A California company, Natel Energy, is hard at work developing a low-head, low-impact hydropower approach that addresses one of the leading concerns of new deployment — impacts to natural stream flows.
April 22, 2021 Sustainability is no longer a fadSource: Campaign
Between hero spots from Procter & Gamble focused on sustainable products, to mainstream brands such as Jimmy John’s and BarkBox launching 4/20 stunts, it’s been a week of celebrating Mother Earth and all her glorious (and...
April 20, 2021 EARTH DAY - After a critical year for COVID and climate, Earth Day 2021 is Thursday. Here's what you should know.Source: USA Today
And in a year in which a deadly pandemic has had the globe in its grip and climate change helped spark a cascade of calamities from raging wildfires to a ferocious hurricane season, the focus of this year's Earth Day couldn't be...
April 19, 2021 The 5 best things to do for the environmentSource: The Hill
Climate activists say there are numerous things an individual person can do to combat human made environmental issues — but the best go beyond recycling.
Source: The Hill
The Biden administration’s move to reenter the Paris climate agreement this year has added momentum to existing efforts from U.S. cities to become more sustainable and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
April 16, 2021 Earth Day 2021: What We Can Learn From the Past YearSource: State of the Planet, Columbia University
It has been a dark year, but this Earth Day, the future looks brighter. Vaccines were developed faster than most experts would have previously imagined, and more than 107 million Americans have been vaccinated. Experts caution...
April 14, 2021 Japan approves plan to dump 1 million tons of wastewater from Fukushima nuclear disaster into the sea, arguing that it has been treated and isn't harmfulSource: Business Insider
Wastewater used to cool the Fukushima nuclear reactor is due to be released into the ocean after treatment, Japanese officials announced on Tuesday. It is part of the nation's plan to decommission the power station that was...
Source: CBS News
Extreme drought across the Western U.S. has become as reliable as a summer afternoon thunderstorm in Florida. And news headlines about drought in the West can seem a bit like a broken record, with some scientists saying the...
Eco-minded brands use water-saving wash techniques at various points in the denim-making process to reduce water usage. For the uninitiated, cotton irrigation makes up 92 percent of the water footprint of a pair of jeans....
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