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Water Quality and Quantity Issues, News and Updates

Water, water everywhere --- and not a drop to drink...”

(from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge)

Water – Quality & Quantity – A Very Hot Topic

Updated January 2011

Demand for water is projected to outstrip supply by a staggering 40 percent by 2030, and an estimated half the world’s population are likely to live in areas of high water stress by the same year”  -- so states  Paul Dickinson, Executive Chairman of the Carbon Disclosure Project in the CDP Water Disclosure 2010  Global Report.   The situation is getting worse rather than getting better. The pressures of over-population, climate change and increased use per capita are all causing water stresses, although unevenly, throughout the globe. 

Current impacted areas in the news include the Southwestern and Southeastern regions of the United States; China; India; Ireland; the Middle East region; Australia; and many countries in Africa.  The threat has been recognized and throughout the globe and governments, corporations and activists groups are bringing the problem to the forefront and helping to craft and influence both short and long term solutions.

Since this section was first created in 1998, the editors have screened tens of thousands of articles and posted almost 1,000 stories, commentaries and reports. Water – quality and quantity is continuing to be a Hot Topic for AC readers.  As many pundits are saying…water is becoming the new carbon.

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In 2006 the United Nations World Water Development Report described the state of water on our planet as a “crisis of governance.”  While the world appears to have enough fresh water supply today, the issue is one of governance, as in water distribution, management and quality control practices.  Water quality appears to be degrading in many areas, our monitoring tells us, and water quantity (supply) is a huge issue in many of the world’s regions.

Due to a number of factors -- mismanagement, limited area resources, and environmental changes, some caused by climate change -- almost one-fifth of the planet’s population still lacks access to safe drinking water and 40 per cent of the world’s population lacks access to basic sanitation. Access to water is further restricted by national and governmental entities that regulate where the water flows, who has access and for what purpose the water is used.  

Water is also used as an economic, health and environmental weapon by the “haves” over the “have-nots.” Governments “determine who gets what water, when and how, and decide who has the right to water and related services,” said the report authors.  Water availability is also related to a range of issues intimately connected to water, from health and food security to economic development, land use, and the preservation of the natural ecosystems on which the water resources depend.

Water quality is declining in most regions of the Earth.  Regional over- population, increased industrialization, absence of proper waste water treatment -- are all contributing to the emerging crisis. Poor water quality is a key cause of poor livelihood and health. An estimated 1.6 million lives (directly or indirectly connected to water quality issues and their related diseases) could be saved each year by providing more access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene to the world’s poorest regions.

Access to water is not only a Third World or emerging nations’ issue -- droughts in the U.S. Southeast and quantity issues in the Southwest and in California have brought conservation, control and distribution issues to the public’s attention in the past few years.  Water in the United States is a key factor to residential and commercial development, economic stability and job growth – all issues which effect local and regional communities’ economic well-being. Water in the USA is critical to the health of agriculture and related industries.  Corporations are in the spotlight for their use of water – advocates and third party researchers are developing “water footprints” (similar to “carbon footprints”) for leading companies, such as Coca Cola, Nestle and other water-intensive industries and sectors.

The Editors of Accountability Central work to bring the many facets of Water issues -- especially quality and quantity -- into focus with news, commentary and research.  Education on the issues, public discussion and rising concern can help to bring about real and positive changes and sensible and fair solutions to the problems at hand.  Perhaps this public forum can help in some small way.  The Institute maintains a robust focus on water issues and the key players in its subscription Web-accessed knowledge management platform Sustainability HQ – click here for more information:www.sustainabilityhq.com.






Latest on Water - Quality & Quantity

June 16, 2021 Ello launches new line of sustainable water bottles at Target

Source: PR NewsWire

Ello, an innovative manufacturer, wholesaler, and online retailer of sustainable food and beverage containers, now offers reusable water bottles made from Eastman Tritan™ Renew with 50% certified recycled content.* The Eco Ello...

June 14, 2021 Study: Key Antarctic ice shelf is speeding up its collapse

Source: Axios

The Pine Island Glacier on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is responsible for more than a quarter of Antarctica's contribution to global sea level rise over the past decades. Now, a new study shows it is more vulnerable to rapid...

June 10, 2021 EPA to revise Trump rollback to water pollution protections

Source: The Hill

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday officially announced that it plans to revise a Trump-era rule that limited what waters receive federal protections from pollution.

June 9, 2021 Saudi startup Red Sea Farms secures $10 million investment for sustainable agriculture

Source: KAWA News

Red Sea Farms, a Saudi Arabian start-up that has developed a solution to use salt water for irrigation in agriculture, is proud to have received one of the largest investments in the sector: $10 million in venture capital! This...

June 9, 2021 Sustainable farming helps Salinas Valley ag industry fight drought

Source: KSBW News

So agriculture in the Salinas Valley and particularly the wine industry, we do a very good job of monitoring water use. So in virtually every one of our vineyard blocks, which we have hundreds of, we have technology built-in so...

June 9, 2021 Charting a Sustainable Course for the Blue Economy

Source: The Nation

industrial fishing fleets—heavily subsidized by China, Japan, the European Union, and other nations—are killing fish faster than they can reproduce and threatening whales, dolphins, and other critical species in the process....

June 9, 2021 "Mega-drought" takes dramatic toll on Colorado River system that provides water to 40 million people

Source: CBS News

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor Map shows large areas of the Southwest are "exceptionally dry," the worst category.

June 4, 2021 Doconomy Now Shows Users Water-Impact Data for Every Purchase

The first-of-its-kind direct measure of our everyday consumption’s water impacts — thanks to data from S&P Global Trucost — aims to create a greater consumer understanding of the importance of water locally, nationally and...

June 2, 2021 Seeking sustainable solutions for the global challenge of safe drinking water

Source: Eurek Alert

Lead is not the only danger when it comes to drinking water - harmful bacteria can also find their way into the water we consume despite treatment prior to distribution. In the face of water scarcity and aging

June 1, 2021 New president of the SNA raises water sustainability as one of its key priorities

Source: Fresh Fruit Portal

The current challenge of the SNA is to modernize agricultural thinking, to respond to times of accelerated changes in uncertain environments that characterize the entire world.

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