Article written by Sergiu Bumbacea and Filip Popescu M.Sc
In this post we will talk about this day, 22 March, The World Water Day. It is held as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.
“This Day is an opportunity to learn more about water related issues, be inspired to tell others and take action to make a difference.
Water is an essential building block of life. It is more than just essential to quench thirst or protect health; water is vital for creating jobs and supporting economic, social, and human development.”
In our research we found many problems, but we consider the biggest environmental problems are:
Agriculture“Agriculture not only covers a vast amount of land, but it also consumes a vast amount of freshwater, another one of the biggest environmental problems on this list. While arable lands and grazing pastures cover one-third of Earth’s land surfaces, they consume three-quarters of the world’s limited freshwater resources.”
Melting Ice Caps“The climate crisis is warming the Arctic more than twice as fast as anywhere else on the planet. Seas are now rising an average of 3.2 mm per year globally, and are predicted to climb to a total of 0.2 to 2m by 2100. The sea level rise will have a devastating impact on those living in coastal regions: according to research and advocacy group Climate Central, sea level rise this century could flood coastal areas that are now home to 340 milion to 480 milion people, forcing them to migrate to safer areas and contributing to overpopulation and strain of resources in the areas they migrate to.”
Pollution“Water pollution comes from many sources including pesticides and fertilizers that wash away from farms, untreated human wastewater, and industrial waste. Even groundwater is not safe from pollution, as many pollutants can leach into underground aquifers. Some effects are immediate, as when harmful bacteria from human waste contaminate water and make it unfit to drink or swim in. In other instances—such as toxic substances from industrial processes—it may take years to build up in the environment and food chain before their effects are fully recognized.”
Population Growth“In the last 50 years, the human population has more than doubled. This rapid growth— with its accompanying economic development and industrialization—has transformed water ecosystems around the world and resulted in a massive loss of biodiversity. Today, 41% of the world’s population lives in river basins that are under water stress. Concern about water availability grows as freshwater use continues at unsustainable levels. Furthermore, these new faces also need food, shelter, and clothing, thus resulting in additional pressure on freshwater through the production of commodities and energy.”
Agriculture“Agriculture uses 70% of the world’s accessible freshwater, but some 60% of this is wasted due to leaky irrigation systems, inefficient application methods as well as the cultivation of crops that are too thirsty for the environment in which they are grown. This wasteful use of water is drying out rivers, lakes and underground aquifers. Many countries that produce large amounts of food—including India, China, Australia, Spain and the United States—have reached or are close to reaching their water resource limits. Added to these thirsty crops are the fact that agriculture also generates considerable freshwater pollution – both through fertilizers as well as pesticides – all of which affect both humans and other species.”
The water system implemented in the KwaZulu pilot project includes low-pressure water distribution that continually feeds a potable water tank in the customer’s property with a maximum of 200 litres per day. Trained water bailiffs selected by the community manage the system in addition to standpipes available for those who are not connected to the low-pressure system.
Orange County Water District
Orange County Water District’s (OCWD) Water Factory 21 in the US state of California will purify for reuse highly treated wastewater that is currently discharged to the ocean. The project will provide a drought-proof water resource for industry and irrigation, reduce wastewater disposal to the sea, and provide clean water to inject into deep groundwater aquifers to prevent seawater intrusion.
The Clean Seas campaign works with governments, businesses and citizens to eliminate the needless use of disposable plastics in order to protect our rivers, seas and the ecosystems which sustain life on earth and our very well-being. Read more here.
We found out more solutions to the water crisis, as if inventing new water conservation technologies, appropriately price water, educate to change consumption and lifestyles; you can check this list for another solutions.