Today. Researching and examining current impacts/trends associated with water scarcity.
World faces 'insurmountable' water crisis by 2040 – report
Published time: 30 Jul, 2014 18:55
Edited time: 30 Jul, 2014 18:58
New research says that in less than 30 years the world will come face to face with a severe water crisis if water intensive electricity production is not curbed. The situation will cause uncontrollable widespread droughts. According to researchers, unless swift action is taken the growing energy demands will create acute water shortages all over the world. Over the past hundred years, the population of the world has increased exponentially and the increase in water consumption has increased by six times. If the situation is not handled there will be a 40% gap in the supply and demand gap of water by 2030 (www.rt.com, 2018).
Energy production has become the biggest source of the consumption of water, even bigger than agriculture. US may be the biggest consumer of this energy based water requirements with most of its states becoming more and more drought-prone day by day. There must better research and technological innovation to curb the amount of water used by power stations and improving the energy efficiency of the world may face unfixable water shortages.
In the wake of Toledo, we need innovations to prevent a world water crisis
By Dominic Basulto
On the July of 2014 officials of Toledo City, Ohio issued a ban on the city’s tap water after it was tested positive for Toxins, that was most likely caused by an Algae Bloom in Lake Erie. the ban alarmed residents and caused widespread panic in both Ohio and Michigan. Residents scrambled to distribution centers and stores to search for water that wasn't contaminated with MicroCystin which causes symptoms like vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea (www.washingtonpost.com, 2018). Though the water supply was treated and the ban was lifted after two days, the algae bloom still persists and though officials have said that the bloom in 2011 was much worse the frequent blooms are causing panic in the minds of residents in the vicinity of the Lake and consider it a crown jewel in their everyday lives.
Though Toledo’s water emergency may appear to be an isolated incident, in reality it is a symptom of a larger problem, of global water scarcity. The frequency of such events throughout the world is increasing at an alarming rate. There is still time before a worst case scenario occurs but "water innovation" needs to become an important topic of discussion and advancement in the next 2 decades as the UN an has already issued a prediction that the world could face a global water crisis by as soon as 2040.
A world without water
In the first instalment of a series on the threat of water scarcity, Pilita Clark reveals the cost to companies
Coca-Cola has recently spent nearly two billion dollars to reduce water use and improve the quality of water wherever they operate. This spending has been extended to the sodden fields that are next to a minor waterway north of London known as River Nar (ig-legacy.ft.com, 2018). This minor waterway due to outdated licensing rules has become straight and narrow and can be crossed with a single step. But the Nar is essential for Coca-Cola as it flows through farms of sugar beet that is used by the company to sweeten their drinks that are sold in the UK. fertiliser run offs from all these farms are the reason for Nars situation. A few years ago angry protests were held against the bottling plants of the company in India over their impact on local water resources and the factories were eventually closed.
These are not isolated incidents and such issues can be identified all over the world. Even in developed countries like Britain companies are not vigilant enough to handle such issues before they deteriorate to such levels and cause losses both environmentally and financially. A brand like Coca-Cola which is highly brand conscious is aware that such situations are prevalent everywhere they operate and can pose a serious risk to their business
If You Think the Water Crisis Can't Get Worse, Wait Until the Aquifers Are Drained
By dennis dimick, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
Aquifers are irreplaceable groundwater reserves that are being pumped irresponsibly to counter water scarcity throughout the world. These Aquifers are freshwater reserves that make up for the loss of surface water from Lakes, reservoirs and rivers. These hidden non-renewable reservoirs are being drawn down at an unsustainable rate in several regions of the world that now face water scarcity. Moreover these reserves are hidden and are thus the response to this crisis are limited as it is difficult to get excited and respond to things that are out of sight (news.nationalgeographic.com, 2018). Managing and conserving groundwater reserves is becoming an alarming challenge for a drought infested environment. A report by Chinese News Service says that officials have confirmed that more than cities in China have water scarcity and around 110 of them are facing serious shortages. A study conducted by the ministry of water resources of China has concluded that over 55% of the 50,000 rivers that China had in the 1890s, have depleted and in worst cases completely disappeared (theecologist.org, 2018).
China is overexploiting its Groundwater at an unsustainable rate of 22 billion Cubic Meters a year although there per capita of consumption of water is less than about ? of the world average. China is facing a severe water scarcity issue and it is not alone. Since groundwater is a common resource and is available to anyone with wells and drilling equipment cooperation and collaboration will be the most essential component in protecting a shrinking line of defense against water scarcity. Disappearing groundwater is being referred to as another out-of-sight crisis by experts. Every major world power has depleted most of their surface water resources and is heavily drawing out there non-renewable groundwater reserves and once these reserves are drained only then will the real crisis begins.
Why global water shortages pose threat of terror and war
By Goldenberg, S
On January 2014 Scientists at the University of California downloaded a fresh set of data from A couple of NASA satellites and released it with a rising sense of dread. The data predicted that California is on the verge of a doubt of epic proportions as the backup groundwater reserves below the region have depleted to such alarming levels that even satellites that are 400 km above the surface of the Earth could detect them (www.theguardian.com, 2018). 17 rural communities are extremely vulnerable to complete exhaustion of fresh water. Scientists have concluded that mankind may be o the verge of epic droughts as a result of tremendous and never before seen groundwater depletion rates. And human beings need to buckle up and start identifying long-term management of critical reserves. Mankind is standing on a precipice and if these reserves deplete completely so will mankind, as a species, from the surface of the Earth.
According to the World Bank around 114 million Indians will face desperate water shortages for domestic, agricultural and industrial use. India is the largest consumer of groundwater after China and with its rapid population growth, increasing density of population and change in the climate the cause of these situations can be pointed to primary wastage of fresh water mostly because of agricultural overexploitation (Ram Mashru, 2018). Parts of India are working on and have pioneered solutions. The state of Andhra Pradesh has implemented highly successful, self-regulated water use. Such measures need to taken throughout and the world to become water secure and ensure long-term sustainability for water resources.
Worldwide water shortage by 2040
Date: July 29, 2014
Source: Aarhus University
A research conducted by a team of academics focused on four different case studies in the countries of India, USA, France and China. Rather than a national review of the situation the team focused on microscopic utilities and energy suppliers. They found the current needs for energy will deplete the water resources to such alarming level that it will be impossible for all four of the countries to produce electricity by 2040 and meet the water demands for other purposes (www.sciencedaily.com, 2018).
The research confirms that climate change is a global phenomenon and does not segregate against the rich or poor countries. it affects everyone at the same time and does not care if your developed or not. If these situations are not discussed and handled while there's still time there will be no going back and human beings will walk the way of the dinosaurs in as soon as 40 years. No future.
Tomorrow, Examining Current Trends to Infer in the Future
Detailed weekly monitoring
Originally predicted to happen on April, "Day 0" has been recently been rescheduled to happen in July. The has been identified by experts as the day when over a million homes in Cape Town, South Africa will face a complete depletion of running water. The country is suffering from a three-year drought and its citizens have been subjected to severe water rationing, limited to 50 litres(13 gallons) per person per day (Mehta & Movik, 2014). This initiative has made a huge difference and thus the prediction of day zero has thankfully been postponed. With severe rationing the citizens of the country now understand the value of water and administrative officials believe that no one in the country will ever waste another drop of water. Like a lot of the places in the world Cape Town and the region surrounding it have predictably reached their peak water levels (Mello & Randhir, 2018). Peak Water is a term used to define the amount of water that can be reasonably taken from an area. And like many places in the world there through the region has good water managers, climate change and global warming has disrupted the hydrological cycle of the Earth which has changed the location, timing and the amount of precipitation dramatically (Sousa Júnior, et al. 2016). This has made prediction and water management planning very challenging and unstable. The situation is causing dread in climate scientists as current water management models are all built based on a more stable climate of the past. The situation in Cape Town can happen anywhere in the world. 14 of the 20 megacities of the world are facing heavy water scarcity and drought conditions. An estimated 4 billion people are already living in regions that face a severe crisis of water supply for least 1 month in a year.and nearly half of these people are living in China (Osman, Al-Ansari & Abdellatif, 2017). These Countries have the highest population growth rate in the word and with no long-term planning the streets will only rise. Disaster data that has been compiled by the U.N. have clearly indicated that the flood s are also getting worse and happening more quickly especially in the coastal regions and river valleys. 90% of all the major natural disasters that occurred between 1995 and 2015 were events that were related to the weather (Muller, 2017). Floods accounted for over half of all the disasters that weather-related. Floods affected over 2.3 billion people, killing an estimated 157,000 in this 20 year period. The costs of extreme weather in the US alone reached a peak of $300 billion and displaced over a million American from their homes (Alvarenga, et al. 2018).
Opportunities from the sustainability Professionals
With Climate being the top priority for all of Humankind specific situations have been generated that have created a need for sustainable development and sustainability officials. From job descriptions like water supply managers, hydrological economists, and engineers studying the field of hydraulics have all become essential in order to manage the current scenario (McEvoy, 2014). Efficient managers who understand the sustainable use of water and can propagate according to the needs of a particular region are required throughout the world. Studying the water consumption trends of an area and identifying key markers that have caused an imbalance in that region is crucial in battling water scarcity (Bredehoeft, 2018).
Interest on the profession and contribution
Efficient and accurate calculations will be needed to be made in order to achieve success like in case of Cape Town that avoided its ‘Day 0' by inches. Economists who have studied the economic trends and their dependence on water availability will also be crucial in identifying economic markers that will help in restructuring the economic hierarchy of industries and conserve as much water as possible without causing severe losses like in case of the Coca-Cola factories in India (Muller, 2017). Engineers will be essential in building and innovating technologies that can purify already consumed water, better water transportation systems, pipelines, artificial reservoirs and many other such endeavours that will ensure efficiency in the consumption of water by mankind. Alternative cooling agents for energy production need to identified by engineers and applied before there is no more water left to experiment with (Benge, & Neef, 2018). Human beings are working a narrow line of fire figuratively and ironically as the ire in this phrase represent water. Though dark humor might not save the day it might be able to dissolve the tension a narrative like creates.
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(2018). Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2014/08/05/in-the-wake-of-toledo-we-need-innovations-to-prevent-a-world-water-crisis/?utm_term=.d539a81e473a
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Benge, L., & Neef, A. (2018). Tourism in Bali at the Interface of Resource Conflicts, Water Crisis and Security Threats. In The Tourism–Disaster–Conflict Nexus (pp. 33-52). Emerald Publishing Limited. Retrieved from https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/acs.est.8b00791
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China's looming water crisis. (2018). Retrieved from https://theecologist.org/2014/feb/25/chinas-looming-water-crisis
Goldenberg, S. (2018). Why global water shortages pose a threat of terror and war. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/feb/09/global-water-shortages-threat-terror-war
If You Think the Water Crisis Can't Get Worse, Wait Until the Aquifers Are Drained. (2018). Retrieved from https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/08/140819-groundwater-california-drought-aquifers-hidden-crisis/
McEvoy, J. (2014). Desalination and water security: The promise and perils of a technological fix to the water crisis in Baja California Sur, Mexico. Water Alternatives, 7(3), 518-541. Retrieved from https://www.water-alternatives.org/index.php/all-abs/262-a7-3-5/file
Mehta, L., & Movik, S. (2014). Flows and practices: Integrated water resources management (IWRM) in African contexts. IDS Working Papers, 2014(438), 1-34. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.2040-0209.2014.00438.x
Mello, K., & Randhir, T. (2018). Diagnosis of water crises in the metropolitan area of São Paulo: policy opportunities for sustainability. Urban Water Journal, 15(1), 53-60. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Timothy_Randhir/publication/321032992_Diagnosis_of_water_crises_in_the_metropolitan_area_of_Sao_Paulo_policy_opportunities_for_sustainability/links/5a710a2d458515015e63ffb4/Diagnosis-of-water-crises-in-the-metropolitan-area-of-Sao-Paulo-policy-opportunities-for-sustainability
Muller, M. (2017). Understanding Cape Town's Water Crisis. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mike_Muller/publication/318060876_Understanding_Cape_Town%27s_Water_Crisis/links/5a4a25920f7e9ba868ae23af/Understanding-Cape-Towns-Water-Crisis.pdf
Muller, M. (2017). Understanding the origins of Cape Town’s water crisis. Civil Engineering= Siviele Ingenieurswese, 2017(v25i5), 11-16. Retrieved from https://s3.amazonaws.com/academia.edu.documents/53722069/Cape_town_what_went_wrong_Civil_Engineering_June_2017_vf.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAIWOWYYGZ2Y53UL3A&Expires=1542540432&Signature=4nw2mop9G9Ry4JvQ%2BtVudFUcmH4%3D&response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3DUnderstanding_Cape_Towns_water_crisis.pdf
Osman, Y., Al-Ansari, N., & Abdellatif, M. (2017). Climate change model as a decision support tool for water resources management in northern Iraq: a case study of Greater Zab River. Journal of Water and Climate Change, jwc2017083. Retrieved from https://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1160714/FULLTEXT01.pdf
Ram Mashru, T. (2018). India’s Worsening Water Crisis. Retrieved from https://thediplomat.com/2014/04/indias-worsening-water-crisis/
Sousa Júnior, W., Baldwin, C., Camkin, J., Fidelman, P., Silva, O., Neto, S., & Smith, T. F. (2016). Water: drought, crisis and governance in Australia and Brazil. Water, 8(11), 493. Retrieved from https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4441/8/11/493/html
Worldwide water shortage by 2040. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140729093112.htm