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Water – Supply and Demand, Cause and Effect

November 25, 2012

Most Americans do not seriously understand the reality of water supply and demand, unless there is a disaster.  After a disaster, supplies of water are restored, to the average American, within weeks or, at worst, months.  During that time, those deprived of their conveniences are hollering at the top of their lungs and angry as hell. 

Water is shipped in to the disaster areas to alleviate temporary inconveniences.   This is not a sustainable situation.  While America’s awareness is still fresh from recent disasters, this is the time to start nudging everyone toward a more sustainable direction. 

This is the time to start nudging our lawmakers to act more responsibly about infrastructure and sustainability.

This is the time to add personal responsibility to our education system.  If our children are not taught about the environmental consequences of their actions, the consequences of neglect and the consequences of waste, then there is no hope for the dream of surviving a changing world.  Teach everyone the reality of cause and effect.

Cause and effect are lost on people dealing with the immediate personal traumas a disasters bring.  Personal losses do not allow any time to reflect on the larger picture. Over all drinking water is depleted!

Trucked in water is a panacea.  Transporting a finite resource does not make it more plentiful.

Complacence has allowed neglect to overrun America’s critical infrastructures, including water management.  America’s water is NOT managed, it is wasted and fouled and generally made unusable.  Water and land are forever connected, when one is made unusable the other becomes unusable, too. 

Education, or lack of, has allowed our children, students and families to bypass personal responsibility for their contribution to the water crisis and pollution crisis, in general.  They do not understand because they are not taught.  Awareness is everyone‘s responsibility.

  Sadly, Americans are led and taught by product advertisement from all media sources. The last thing corporations want consumers to do is think about the consequences of lusting after their products.  Fortunately, for decades, China and South East Asian countries have taken the toxic hit to please the Western consumer.  They are paying the price.

Knowledge is everywhere!  Web based resources are plentiful and always available 24/7.  Not learning about the relationships among Water, Air and Soil is deadly. The old adage, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink” is what Western Civilization is experiencing right now.  Information is available everywhere and everyone is encouraged to learn what they can do about the crisis.  But, it is not taken as seriously as it should.  Somehow, the “someone else will figure it out” attitude is common.  Maybe some news stories will highlight portions of one infrastructure problem or another, but watch the meaning become lost in political rhetoric about spending and “entitlements” and taxes.  The only thing that will fund the phenomenal cost of repair and education, is taxes … don’t expect any corporation to step up and take responsibility.

What any solution takes is FOCUS!  Right now, corporations demand consumer FOCUS to remain on consuming disposable products as fast as they can.  Education should include following the path of all products from inception, manufacturing to disposal.  In America, disposal comes at a high price, both monetarily and environmentally. 

Politics has made it sinful to be conscious of the world you live in and act responsibly … too many Right Wing organizations dismiss any calls for environmental awareness … this is also deadly for our children.  All because corporate profits may be threatened … in the short term.  Corporate profits will be non-existent after the last drinkable water is gone.  Of course, corporations will shift their attention to filtering and processing expensive water for those who can afford it, for as long as they can.

Significant HYDROLOGY Reports.

Global groundwater use outpaces supply –  Measure reveals unsustainable use of world’s aquifers

A handful of thirsty countries are guzzling their groundwater reserves much faster than those resources can be renewed.

India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Mexico, and the United States lead the global pack of water-thirsty nations, researchers report online August 8 in Nature. Irrigation for agriculture drives much of the demand, says hydrogeologist and study coauthor Tom Gleeson of McGill University in Montreal.

… “groundwater footprint” measure to evaluate the sustainability of withdrawals from the world’s aquifers. The analytic tool balances water coming in with water going out, and gauges how large an aquifer would have to be to accommodate current withdrawals. A groundwater footprint larger than its aquifer means people are sucking down water faster than it can be replenished — treating it as a nonrenewable resource, Gleeson says.

Though 80 percent of the world’s aquifers have sustainable footprints, people drawing on other aquifers are draining the world’s water supply. For these overtapped reservoirs, groundwater footprints vastly exceed aquifer areas. “It’s not sustainable,” Gleeson says. “We don’t know how long the aquifers will last.”  Very interesting comments followed this article

Scientific resources below to show the range of the global water crisis

Global Groundwater Information System (GGIS)

A GGIS is an interactive and transparent portal to groundwater-related information and knowledge.

The system is meant for various categories of stakeholders, including both professionals and the general public. The GGIS is simple to use and completely publicly accessible. It leads the user from aggregated, global information (Global Overview) via related information sources (Meta-Information Module) towards a direct information exchange (Collaborative Environment).
Global Groundwater Monitoring Network (GGMN) is the youngest and the most demanding GGIS module. Its purpose is to monitor a global change of groundwater resources.

Colorado River: Mexico and US sign water-sharing deal

Mexico and the US have agreed new rules on sharing and managing water from the Colorado River, which serves some 30 million people in the two nations.  Under the deal, the US will send less water to Mexico during a drought, while Mexico will be able to store water north of the border during wet years.  The Colorado River flows 1,450 miles (2,230km) from the Rockies into the Gulf of California.  Recent droughts and increased water usage have put pressure on the river.  “We have chosen collaboration over conflict, we have chosen co-operation and consensus over discord,” said US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

Past and future contribution of global groundwater depletion to sea-level rise:  Key Points:

  • Future projection of the contribution of groundwater depletion to sea-level rise
  • The contribution of GW depletion outweighs the negative contribution by dams
  • GW depletion will be a dominant contribution to SLR from land in coming decades

With declining drinkable water and rising sea levels the seriousness of the world’s water systems is upon us …

UN says carbon cuts too slow to curb dangerous warming

A report by the UN says global attempts to curb emissions of CO2 are falling well short of what is needed to stem dangerous climate change.  The UN’s Environment Programme says greenhouse gases are 14% above where they need to be in 2020 for temperature rises this century to remain below 2C.  The authors say this target is still technically achievable.  But the opportunity is likely to be lost without swift action by governments, they argue.

Until people learn to be conscious of the world around them, and the consequences of their personal actions, the “FISCAL CLIFF” is a cake walk compared to the WATER CLIFF the world is tumbling over.

When our children and students are denied practical, common sense education about the world around them … and how they personally fit in, the future of the human race is doomed.  When kids come home from school, the first drink is usually NOT water.  That’s good you think?  Well, think again.  The sugar infused soda or juice they usually grab has a LOT of water, treated with flavorings.  Those flavorings are part of the marketing extravaganza that is imposed on our kids.  The education our children are receiving today is corporate based.  Corporations are insuring whole new generations of consumers … with unsustainable products that are designed to become useless or obsolete shortly after they are purchased.  By brainwashing our children to become consumers, the whole education system is polluted with unsustainable information, that has little promise of helping Americans, or the human race, to survive depletion of resources.  Educators have warned for over a century that without practical, useable knowledge, and ability to solve common sense problems, the American public will be divided into classes of have and have not, without promise of achievement or survival … because they will become sicker as clean water is no longer available or affordable.  Picture American scavengers ….

Just reading through the United Nations World Water Development Reports posted on the United Nations website should scare the hell out of anyone who still has doubts or enjoys denial.

‘Water for Life’ Decade

Water scarcity, poor water quality, and inadequate sanitation negatively impact food security, livelihood choices, and educational opportunities for poor families across the world. Water-related natural disasters such as floods, tropical storms and tsunamis exert a heavy toll in human life and suffering. And all too regularly, drought afflicts some of the world’s poorest countries, exacerbating hunger and malnutrition.

Beyond meeting basic human needs, water supply and sanitation services, as well as water as a resource, are critical to sustainable development. It is a major source of energy in some parts of the world, while in others its potential as an energy source remains largely untapped. Water is also necessary for agriculture and for many industrial processes. And in more than a few countries, it makes up an integral part of transport systems. With improved scientific understanding, the international community has also come to appreciate more fully the valuable services provided by water-related ecosystems, from flood control to storm protection and water purification.

Water challenges will increase significantly in the coming years. Continuing population growth and rising incomes will lead to greater water consumption, as well as more waste. The urban population in developing countries will grow dramatically, generating demand well beyond the capacity of already inadequate water supply and sanitation infrastructure and services. According to the UN World Water Development Report, by 2050, at least one in four people is likely to live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of freshwater.

It seems there are more than few reasons to put water and sanitation at the top of the world’s agenda…

All of these facts are in front of our faces every day.  These truths are masked by too many diversions and distractions that are not quite as critical as survival of the human race.  The lazy way to reduce earth’s competition for water is to have more and more wars.  That may be a way to deplete populations, but it also fouls the environment required to sustain life … even for the winners/survivors.  With Mother Nature intervening with weather extremes, those humans that pay closer attention have become “Doomsdayers” and are hunkering down to survive whatever meltdown is approaching earth’s civilizations.  Too many are embracing the whole Armageddon thing and think they have a survivable formula.  Certainly, they may be able to outlast the majority of humans by a few months, but don’t count on much else.  Without clean water and clean land to grow real food on, even the most daring survivalist will be out of luck.  Because too few foods have an indefinite shelf life, and water filtration eventually runs out, humans may not really have the ability to adapt long enough for Mother Nature to clean up after us.

Water related resources made available through the United Nations.

Under suitable circumstances, slow sand filtration may be not only the cheapest and simplest but also the most efficient method of water treatment.
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Improving Household Drinking Water Quality. Use of Ceramic Water. Filters in Cambodia. Ceramic filter pilot projects (2002-2006) in Cambodia have yielded
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perfringens from water and extracted sediments by membrane filtration (MF). Reducing diarrhea through the use of household-based ceramic water filters:
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are pressure filters, through which water is pumped at pressure to remove the suspended solids load. Prefilters have an advantage in that they do not require
An ‘ecosystem approach’ recognizes and ascribes value, including economic value, to the ‘services’ natural ecosystems provide in terms of water filtration and
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The most promising and accessible of the technologies for household water treatment are filtration with ceramic filters, chlorination with storage in an improved
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