New World Water: The Growing Water Crisis

It comes from the sky. Turn the faucet, and it pours out in what seems like an infinite amount. We use it to drink, bathe, to grow food, to cook. Three fourths of the planet is covered by it, so it’s no wonder we take water for granted. However, even with its abundance less than 1% of water on Earth is drinkable.

Yet, daily leaking pipes lose an estimated seven billion gallons of clean drinking water earning America a D- in the ASCE Infrastructure Report Card. In addition, the emissions from the 7,000,000 gallons for water lost from leakage are “estimated to contribute 13.5 million kg of CO2e to the atmosphere daily — accelerating climate change and further exacerbating the vicious cycle.”

Things are not looking good for our most valuable resource. The whole world is in a water crisis. In fact, there is no new water, the water we have now is the same water that has always been here, recycled through a beautiful efficient system. Think about that. There is no new water. Furthermore, of the water available, only a tiny percent is drinkable and of that only a small amount is clean.

What’s worse is that demand for fresh water is surpassing supply; in fact demand is doubling every 20 years outpacing population growth. This means sooner than later if we keep at our current rate of consumption there will be a WORLD WIDE water shortage, in OUR LIFETIME. Indeed, in 2000 Fortune magazine printed: “Water promises to be to the 21st century what oil was to the 20th century; the precious commodity that determines the wealth of nations.” Just imagine tomorrows protest signs will say “No blood for water.”

“Water is life’s matter and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water.” -Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

Here are some fun facts:

*2.5 billion lack proper sewage and sanitation. In less than 20 years, it is estimated that demand for fresh water will exceed the world’s supply by over 50 percent.

*California’s Department of Water Resources predicts that, by 2020, if more supplies are not found, the state will face a shortfall of fresh water nearly as great as the amount that all of its cities and towns together are consuming today.

*In Africa, an estimated 5 million people die each year for lack of safe drinking water.

*884 million people lack access to safe water supplies; approximately one in eight people.

*Only 62% of the world’s population has access to improved sanitation – defined as a sanitation facility that ensures hygienic separation of human excreta from human contact.

*Less than 1% of the world’s fresh water (or about 0.007% of all water on earth) is readily accessible for direct human use.


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