Availability of Earth’s consumable water affects the societal wellbeing, health and economy of the entire population. Water is critical for long-term economic development, human health, social welfare and environmental sustainability. Indeed, water pervades all social activities; it is precious and essential to all life. There is no substitute for water in any of its functions; it has as an important a role in the health of the planet as to the human body – no water means, no life. Without water, no livestock can be sustained and vegetation cannot be grown. Clearly, no food can be produced without water. The importance of a safe and reliable source of consumable water is beyond question. Water is vital for human survival; it is a basic biological necessity without which the human body and life in general cannot be sustained.
The World population is 6.9 billion, of which theUSAis 300 million. According to the United Nations, more than 1 billion people live in areas where water is scarce and that number could increase to 1.8 billion by 2025. Hydrologic alterations and modern day pollution have impaired ecosystems on a global scale, and the pace and intensity of human development greatly exceeds the ability of scientists to assess the overall effects.
There is approximately thirty-seven times more water underground than on the surface — it can be tied up for hundreds; even thousands of years before it resurfaces again to take part in the hydrologic cycle. This is known as ground water. Much of the water used in farm communities to irrigate crops is ground water; at one time, this was the only demand for ground water but as freshwater sources diminish, to meet modern day demands, private water companies have tapped into ground water sources. In many regions of the world, freshwater – both groundwater and surface water – is being used faster than it can be replaced. To date, some 30 billion gallons of ground water is pumped from the earth everyday. The demands of our “modern” lifestyle, we are pumping up to 15 times more water than is being recharged, which is in fact creating a global crises.
The population continues to increase and the consumable water supply continues to decrease; the civilized world’s relationship to water is rapidly shifting, at this point, not for the better. Climate change, droughts, growing population and increasing industrial demand are straining the available supplies of freshwater. As freshwater becomes more scarce, people will search for ways to secure their water supplies; every gallon of water we use has an economic value.
This increasing water need may further aggravate problems of water sharing; in the absence of strong institutions and agreements, changes within a basin in one country can lead to transboundary tensions. Currently the laws of most nations are not sufficient to protect the water resources and or their governments are corrupt. Consequently, one day, perhaps within our lifetime, every drop of water will be privately owned. The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization are all instrumental in comodifying water, which initially affects undeveloped nations but will eventually affect us all. At the start of this century, the wars have been about oil, but by the end, if existing political and economic systems are not challenged by its citizens, they will inevitably be about water.
Sustainability in the management and allocation of water is intrinsically related to Global Warming so eventually the water crises will affect us all. A deliberate and strategic design to optimize resilient ecosystems and consumable water quality and supply is long overdue. It is the major social-scientific challenge of the 21st century.
On an individual scale, simple actions will collectively have short and long-term effects.
- Know your water shed, where your water comes from and how it is delivered to you, go to:
- It is frightening to realize that in manyUScommunities wastewaters are treated and pumped back into the consumable water supply, reemerging again from the tap.
- Know where your wastewater goes and how it is treated.
- Of course, conservation is crucial, but beyond that,
- Grow your own crops or purchase only locally grown crops; it not only supports your community, but also indirectly reduces carbon emissions and demands from industrial farms.
- Take control of your consumable water supply.
Invest in a water distiller; according to the EPA, chemicals dumped into our rivers may cause cancer. Chlorinated water kills most germs and viruses, but it can also kill cells in our bodies. The only safe rule to follow is to distill drinking water, which will eliminate both chlorine and pathogenic organisms. No other methods of water purification are recommended by FEMA and the Red Cross. Distilling water turns it into vapor, and then through condensation, back again into pure water. Rising vapor cannot carry minerals and other dissolved solids. It will not carry disease germs, dead or alive. The vapor rises leaving all the suspended particles, inorganic minerals and chemicals behind. Distillation is the single most effective method of water purification. In a manner of speaking, distilled water is nature’s way.
Eventually, as consumable water supply and quality diminishes, devices that clean water, making it consumable will dramatically increase in value.
by AsebastianB, Copyright © 2011 All Rights Reserved
Blue Gold – a film by Sam Bozzo