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WATER, WATER NOWHERE AND NOT A DROP TO DREAM
WATER, WATER NOWHERE, AND NOT A DROP TO DREAM
"The Earth, with its diverse and abundant life forms, including over six billion humans, is facing a serious water crisis. All the signs suggest that it is getting worse and will continue to do so, unless corrective action is taken. The crisis is one of governance, essentially caused by the ways in which humans have mismanaged water.
World Water Development Report
A story in The Financial Times of London begins as follows: "Water, like energy in the late 1970s, will probably become the most critical natural resource issue facing most parts of the world by the start of the next century." As we shunt to work and back home, or relax watching the TV it never crosses our mind that looming above us is a great crisis.
The World Bank reports that 80 countries now have water shortages that threaten the health of people and vitality of economies. Also about 40 percent of the world - that is more than 2 billion people - have no access to clean water or sanitation. According to Halifa Drammeh, who coordinates UNEP's water policies "Half of all coastal regions, where 1 billion people live, have degraded through overdevelopment or pollution and millions of people don't have access to safe water. It is indeed a crisis,"
Former Sen. Paul Simon from Illinois in his book Tapped Out: The Coming World Crisis in Water and What We Can Do About itwarns about the impending water crisis. Interestingly ever since 1900, there has been a six-fold increase in water use for only a two-fold increase in population size. This reveals the indiscriminate us of water associated with rising standards of living
Water quality is deteriorating in many areas of the developing world as population increases and salinity caused by industrial farming and over-extraction rises. About 95 percent of the world's cities still dump raw sewage into their waters
According to WWF the Himalayan glaciers are receding at a faster rate than at any other time in human history due to global warming. The resulting water shortage would millions of people in China, India and Nepal. In fact increasing global temperatures in the coming century will cause widespread melting of glaciers, which contain nearly 70 per cent of the world's freshwater reserves. And an increase in just 4 degrees Celsius before the end of the century would eliminate almost all of them.
Severe water shortages affecting at least 400 million people now, but the predictions of World Health Organization and other agencies are that severe water shortage would affect 4 billion people by 2050 and Southwestern states such as Arizona will face severe freshwater shortages by 2025.
The solid evidence before us is the case of The Aral sea which is fed by two major rivers, the Amur Darya (formerly known as the Oxus) and the Syr Darya. Since 1960 the rate of inflow into the Aral has been greatly reduced by diversion of the water into a series of ill-conceived irrigation schemes in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.
In 2006 it was only about half the area of what it was in 1960 and the rate of drying up is continuing, mostly in the southern portion. In some places the edge of the Sea is about 200 km away from where it was in 1960. There are ex-fishing boats in former seaside fishing villages which are marooned many kilometers from the receding shoreline.
Wastage: According to WWF, In London leaks from ageing water mains are wasting 300 Olympic swimming pools' worth of water every single day, Poor Resource management: A combination of climate change and poor resource management is leading to water shortages in even the most developed countries,
Climate change: Southern Europe is becoming drier as a result of climate change and the north Alpine glaciers which are a significant source of water is shrinking at a rapid pace.
Deteriorating water quality: Water quality is deteriorating in many areas of the developing world, due to increasing population, salinity due to industrial farming and over-extraction of water. This problem is further compounded by 95 percent of the world's cities still continuing to dump raw sewage into their waters.
Water has been a contentious issue in recent negotiations between Israel and Syria. In recent years, Iraq, Syria and Turkey have exchanged verbal threats over their use of shared rivers. The fallout is just not conflict but something more which Gorbachev's sums up beautifully. In fact Mikhail Gorbachev's words have a prophetic ring. "Water, not unlike religion and ideology, has the power to move millions of people. Since the very birth of human civilization, people have moved to settle close to water. People move when there is too little of it; people move when there is too much of it. People move on it. People write and sing and dance and dream about it. People fight over it. And everybody, everywhere and every day, needs it. We need water for drinking, for cooking, for washing, for food, for industry, for energy, for transport, for rituals, for fun, for life. And it is not only we humans who need it; all life is dependent upon water for its very survival."...and if I may add on a personal note, life originated from it. SO LET US NOT WASTE THIS PRECIOUS COMMODITY.
. Arizona's Ground Water Management Act: