Monday, February 10, 2014

Water crisis and Human water footprints

The earth is  the only planet  with water and supports life. The planet earth is also  called the  ‘blue planet’ due to the  presence abundant water on its surface. Water covers approx.71 % of the planet earth and constitutes 60-70 % of the living world. An average adult human body contains 42 liters of water.Water is a common good that belongs to all living beings. It is the duty of human beings to ensure a collective management in its use, conservation and protection.

Water crisis 

 Water is facing a crisis today. Water scarcity affects all social and economic sectors. There are concerns that water will increasingly be the cause of violence and even war. Water is recognized as one of the key limiting resources of this millennium. Approx. 700 million people in 43 countries  suffer as a result of water scarcity. Nearly 1 billion people lack safe drinking water. Half of the world’s 500 major rivers are polluted. About 75% of India’s lakes and rivers are too polluted for safe use. Each year, there are about 250 million cases of water- related diseases. It is estimated that at least 1.5 million children under the age of 12 die annually due to water pollution.About 1.4 million people die each year in India from water pollution.

Global issues of water :

Water shortage – the levels of available water do not meet minimum requirements.
Water scarcity – the relationship between demand for water and its availability.
Water stress – the decline in water quality.
Water security – secure access to adequate quantity and safe quality water over time.

Water shortage is used to describe an absolute shortage where levels of available water do not meet certain defined minimum requirements. By 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population may be facing water shortages.
Water scarcity is either the lack of enough water (quantity) or lack of access to safe water (quality). Water scarcity is caused by low rainfall, high population density, tourist inflow, intensive agriculture and more water demanding industries. About 1.1 billion people lack access to water and 2.7 billion people experience water scarcity at least one month a year.
Water stress is caused by the demand for water far exceeds the available amount. The term is analogous to the common use of the term ‘drought’.
Water security can be defined as access by all individuals at all times to sufficient safe water for a healthy and productive life. In other words, water security is defined as the availability of an acceptable quantity and quality of water for health, livelihoods, ecosystems and production.
Pollution of sea water 
About 50% of the world’s population lives on or within 160 miles of shore. Fourteen billion pounds of garbage, mostly plastic, is dumped into the ocean every year. For every 1 million tons of oil that is shipped, about 1 ton is spilled. More oil is seeped into the ocean each year as a result of leaking cars and other non-point sources
Pollution of river water
 Asian rivers are the most polluted in the world. River  Ganges in India is one of the most polluted rivers in the world. Approximately 46% of the lakes in America are too polluted for fishing, aquatic life, or swimming.
Water pollution by plastic wastes
 The amount of plastic waste has been increasing about 10% each year for the past 20 years. Over 1 million seabirds are killed by plastic waste per year. Over 100,000 sea mammals and countless fish are killed per year due to pollution.

Human water footprints

Water footprint measures the consumption and contamination of freshwater resources. It was first introduced by Hoekstra in 2002 to provide a consumption-based indicator of water use. Water footprint  differs around the world and depends on climate, soil types, irrigation methods and crop genetics. Your water footprint extends beyond the average 80-100 gallons of water you use everyday. A product water footprint is the total volume of freshwater consumed, directly and indirectly, to produce a product. Each person daily  needs 20 to 50 liters   for drinking and hygiene. Since 1970, global demand for water has risen nearly 2.4 % per annum. Nearly 20 developing countries  are classified as ‘water scarce’.

Types of human water footprints

Blue water footprint : the consumption of ‘blue’ water resources e.g.surface and ground water.
Green water footprint : the consumption of ‘green’ water resources e.g.rain water stored in the soil as soil moisture.
Grey water footprint : this refers to pollution and is defined as the volume of freshwater

Remedial measures for water crisis :
  1.  Locate the point sources of water pollution
  2. Work against acid rain.
  3. Educate your community about water crisis
  4. žEnsure sustainable sewage treatment.
  5. Watch out for toxins in water.
  6. Be careful what you throw away on water resources.
  7. žUse water efficiently.
  8. Spread the word to your community. 

Quotes on water

"Water is the driver of Nature." -Leonardo da Vinci.

"Water is the Hub of life." -Albert Szent-Gyorgyi.

"When the well is dry, we know the worth of water."-Benjamin Franklin.

"Pure water is the world's first and foremost medicine." -Slovakian Proverb.

"Filthy water cannot be washed." -West African Proverb.

1 comment:

  1. Hi people,
    Thank you so much for this wonderful article really!
    If someone want to learn more about clean water crisis I think this is the right place for you!