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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
March 11, 2015 Californian water crisis set to maintain global rice pricesSource: ABC.au
Rice harvest in southern New South Wales starts this month, but all eyes appear to be on Australia's competition overseas. California is heading into its fourth year of drought, which is expected to hurt its rice production again...
March 10, 2015 World must achieve international water goals to preempt looming conflicts born of desperation: UN
Phys.org - Prepared in association with the îGlobal Water Partnershipî and Canada's McMaster University, the report says the success of global efforts on the scale required rests in large part on a crackdown on...
March 6, 2015 Sin City's Thirst Is Drying Up the WestSource: Bloomberg
Casino resorts, five of which are Southern Nevada’s largest commercial water users, labor unions and the developer of a 22,500-acre mini-city west of Las Vegas argue their future depends on the water supply that the church,...
March 6, 2015 Water: The Rime of Modern Industry
CSR Wire - The Rime of the Ancient Mariner describes the story of a journey of a ship first driven south into trouble in Antarctica by a storm until an albatross leads them to safety. The bird is subsequently shot by the Mariner...
March 6, 2015 Big Businesses Weigh In On Drought (CA) text/audioSource: Capital Radio
Several companies including Coca-Cola and General Mills announced today they will work together to push for better water management in the state. The businesses will watch the implementation of recently passed water bond and...
India, Bangladesh and China are most at risk from river floods, with an increasing number of people threatened because of climate change and economic growth in low-lying regions, a study said on Thursday.
March 4, 2015 California shuts down oil wells to protect groundwaterSource: Myrtle Beach Online
A dozen wells used to pump oil-and-gas in California's Central Valley have been ordered to stop production to protect underground drinking-water from contamination, officials said Tuesday. The operators of 10 oil wells in Kern...
March 4, 2015 Ohio House bill would ease fracking in state parksSource: Columbus Dispatch
Gov. John Kasich has used the back door to keep fracking out of Ohio state parks and forests. Now, the legislature is trying a side door to fast-track fracking on public lands.
March 3, 2015 California drought likely a fixture, says Stanford studySource: San Jose Mercury News
Human-caused climate change is increasing drought risk in California -- boosting the odds that our current crisis will become a fixture of the future, according to a major report Stanford scientists released Monday morning.
March 3, 2015 Can Fracking Pollute Drinking Water? Don't Ask the EPASource: Inside Climate News
The EPA has been unable to collect the data it needs from the multibillion dollar oil and gas sector, which has stymied a five-year federal study.
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