Sustainability and Water August 12, Water tables all over the world are falling, as "world water demand has tripled over the last" 50 years.
Water crises affect economies of all sizes. Depleted reservoirs and dusty river beds are obvious symptoms, but another piece of the water puzzle is unseen below our feet. The current drought in California is a glimpse into this potentially drier future.
After three years of parched conditions, water levels in nearly all monitoring wells in the state are at record lows. Many have dropped more than 15 metres in the last year alone. Even in years with normal rainfall, more water is taken out than replaced, and hundreds of families in the Central Valley lost running water to their homes last summer when the aquifer level fell below the reach of their wells.
Dhaka, Houston, Jakarta and Mexico City are a handful of the urban centres that are pumping so much groundwater that the very land they occupy is collapsing.
Jakarta has sunk 4 metres within the span of a generation. This geological subsidence changes a delicate balance, affecting everything from drinking water to essential support systems. Beyond water for food and drink, increasing manufacturing and consumer markets are heightening the demand for water to produce electricity, mine minerals, make products and process fuel.
The hydrologic system is tied to climate, and climate change will profoundly affect water security worldwide. Droughts, floods, glacial melt, unpredictable precipitation, runoff, groundwater supplies and water quality will all reflect an increasing instability as long-standing rainfall patterns change and weather extremes increase.
In agriculture, soil probes sense moisture levels for more effective irrigation and research is helping growers to better match crops, techniques and watershed management to hydrological conditions.
In cities, membrane technology is creating new capabilities to transform wastewater into drinking water. Improved economic modelling is demonstrating the true value of ecosystems, which can offer greener, cleaner and more cost-efficient water processing and protection.
But however promising our technologies may be, averting the most severe effects of the expanding water crises requires leaders who recognize the risk of inaction. Difficult choices demand tenacious and renewed resolve, the report notes.
The United Nations this year will consider a new global development framework and a sustainable development goal for water. This goal would include improvements in sanitation and drinking water quality, but would also address how water is managed and governed.
Companies, NGOs and governments are working together to protect watersheds, design more resilient cities and improve efficiency. Water withdrawals in the United States as a whole peaked in and have trended downward ever since. Effective water, sanitation and health programmes in developing countries are saving lives and building better futures for families.
The solution, no matter where in the world, will be a mosaic made up of different vital pieces. Understanding the urgency and our high level of risk while embracing our shared values should drive informed action in times of tumultuous change.
Investing in our water future now will yield dividends that are incalculable, and most certainly critical. One reason water belongs at the top of the agenda is simple: The Global Risks report is now live.
Carl Ganter Share this:The global water crisis can be summed up in these "seven deadly sins," from climate change to leaky infrastructure, that water researchers and officials will try to tackle during the World Water Week. Today the Water Crisis affects BILLIONS around the world. million live without access to Safe Water, while billion live without improved sanitation.
Learn what urbanagricultureinitiative.com is doing to combat the Global Water Crisis and join our cause today! Among the most compelling environmental issues of today and tomorrow are those concerning the world's fresh water resources.
Gleick's important new volume, Water in Crisis, addresses the timely and sometimes controversial aspects of world water urbanagricultureinitiative.com stake are water quality, quantity, and possible future conflicts over shared international water resources.
Water covers 70% of our planet, and it is easy to think that it will always be plentiful. However, freshwater—the stuff we drink, bathe in, irrigate our farm fields with—is incredibly rare.
Only 3% of the world’s water is fresh water, and two-thirds of that is tucked away in frozen glaciers or otherwise unavailable for our use. As a result, some billion people worldwide lack access.
The World's Water "Water, Water, Everywhere." You've heard the phrase, and for water, it really is true. Earth's water is (almost) everywhere: above the Earth in the air and clouds, on the surface of the Earth in rivers, oceans, ice, plants, in living organisms, and .
The safety and accessibility of drinking-water are major concerns throughout the world. Health risks may arise from consumption of water contaminated with infectious agents, toxic chemicals, and radiological hazards.
Improving access to safe drinking-water can result in tangible improvements to.