Water scarcity, climate change and human waterfootprint
Water resources around the world are constantly being misused, polluted, and becoming more and more scarce.The world’s population is growing by roughly 80 million people each year. Changes in lifestyles and eating habits inrecent years are requiring more water consumption per capita. Freshwater withdrawals have tripled over the last 50years. Demand for freshwater is increasing by 64 billion cubic meters a year. How long will we be able to live at thisrate of consumption? what will happen to our water resources if we don’t use them sustainably?
97.5 percent of the earths water is oceanwater. only 2.5 percent is fresh water.Of these freshwater resources, about 70percent is in the form of ice andpermanent snowAround 30 percent of the worldsfreshwater is stored underground in theform of groundwater. Freshwater lakes and rivers contain anestimated of 0.3 percent of the worldsfreshwater.Much of the fresh water is polluted whichleaves less than 1% for human use.
An American taking a five-minuteshower uses more water than theaverage person in a developingcountry slum uses for an entire day.
Leaky faucets that drip at the rate of one drop per second can waste up to 2,700 gallons of water each year.Furthermore, a typical individual in the United States uses 500 liters of water each day.
It takes 53 gallons to make every latte that gets drank in a to-go cup!
On average, one apple (150 gram) costs 125 liters of water. Apple juice costs 1140 liters of water per literof apple juice. One glass of apple juice (200 ml) costs about 230 liters of water.
It takes around 1,800 gallons of water to grow enough cotton to produce justone pair of regular blue jeans.
Turf (grass) is the largest crop grown in the United States and it can also be one of the most water intensiveto keep green. About one-third of outdoor water use in the United States goes toward lawn care. And whena specific area of the country is experiencing drought conditions, lawn care places additional stress onavailable water supplies.
Worldwide, agriculture accounts for 70% of all water consumption, compared to 20% for industry and 10%for domestic use.
To produce one pound (1 lb) of steak requires, on average, 1,799 gallons of water.
Construction is very water intensive, it takes about 32 liters of water for one bag of cement mix and it takesalmost 8 bags of cement to make one cubic meter of cement
Pollution can greatly affect our water sources. there is point pollution which is pollution that can be tracedback to its source and non-point pollution, which comes from indirect sources, like agricultural runoff,mining waste, paved roads, and industrial activity.
silt or sediment, agricultural wastes, sewage, petroleum products, trash, and nuisance species are alldifferent ways fresh water reserves can be polluted affecting aquatic ecosystems and can also cause seriousdiseases in humans who use the water or eat from polluted areas. Pollution may also make watersunhealthy to swim in.
Urban runoff is increasingly polluting water.Runoff occurs when land is covered withbuildings, streets and parking lots. Rainwaterruns off these hard surfaces, picking upchemicals, sediment and other pollutantsand sending them into local waterways. Therush of water from drainage pipes can causeerosion, and warmer runoff in the summercan change water temperature, hurting fish,plants, animals and our water resources.
The process of erosion degrades riverbanks, dumping dirt into the water,which can negatively impact streams,lakes, bay and ocean resources.Preventing erosion and maintaininghigh quality riparian areas is animportant element in reducingpollution and improving water quality.
An increase earths average temperature will influence the patterns and amounts of precipitationand reduce ice and snow cover, as well as permafrost. This will cause rising sea levels which will increase theacidity of the oceans. These changes will impact our food supply, water resources, infrastructure, ecosystems,and even our own health .
Dams have several environmentalconsequences. For example the alteration ofriver flow often causes damages to aquatic lifeas well as altering ecosystems along theriverbank and affecting the fertility of the soil.
Early spring runoffs causes a lot ofwater loss. Dams get filled earlier in theyear, and they can only hold certain waterlevel. The result is that much of the earlyrunoff goes to waste, prompting shortagesin late summer and autumn.
Water shortages and droughts during summer can cause large and devastating wildfires. According to theNational Climatic Data Center, wildfires earlier this year have included the largest in Oregon since the 1840s,the largest fire on record in New Mexico, and the most destructive fire in Colorados history.
Over 1 billion people use less than 6 liters of water per day and over 1.5 billion people do not have access toclean, safe water.
Almost 80% of diseases in developing countries are associated with water, causing some three million earlydeaths. For example, 5,000 children die every day from diarrhea, or one every 17 seconds.
water scarcity transcends boardersand nations. Today water scarcity isnot only an issue the US might facebut that many places areexperiencing. It is important to takecare of water resources and beconscious that water is not unlimited
Water scarcity is a growing global issue, drought conditions are occurring more often around the worldkilling millions of lives, displacing families, and destroying homes. Water is essential for life, how would aworld with no water look like?