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Sustainability and Water August 12, Water tables all over the world are falling, as "world water demand has tripled over the last" 50 years.
When these aquifers are depleted, food production worldwide will fall. Water tables all over the world are falling, as "world water demand has tripled over the last" 50 years. These aquifers are inexorably being depleted in ways that are "largely invisible, historically recent, and growing fast", and "the near-simultaneous depletion of aquifers means that cutbacks in grain harvests will The water tables of China, India, Pakistan, Mexico and Yemen are dropping by 1 to 3 meters per year, as are those of the US, especially in the southern Great Plains where "thousands of farms Since one ton of grain requires tons of water, this water deficit will cross international borders in the form of increasing grain prices worldwide.
Grain shortages are likely to occur soon in China, where the grain harvest is shrinking as a combined result of "aquifer depletion, the diversion of irrigation water to cities and lower grain support prices".
This could "destabilize world grain markets. Raising irrigation efficiency and recycling urban wastewater is being practiced with some success in some countries.
Local Action For Global Challenge.
Even where there is availability of water, conveying it to communities that need it becomes an issue. Provision of drinking water is expensive and difficult. Unsafe water sources have accounted for preventable diseases in rural communities. In many countries water is shared with cattle, which has serious implications on human health.
Already there are about million people in 29 countries, who are facing water shortages, and chasing fewer sources of fresh water. The water crisis has also affected health matters of many people and at the moment, it is estimated that half the hospital beds in the world are being occupied by patients who are suffering from water related illnesses.
About million people are infected with dysentery, 20 million of whom are seriously ill. The average distance undertaken by African and Asian women and children to gain access to water is approximately six kilometres.
Agriculture also has effect on water since intensive cultivation of crops causes chemicals from fertilizers and pesticides to trickle down into the groundwater. The routine application of fertilizers and pesticides are being recognized as water pollution.
Waste water from manufacturing as well as chemical processes in industries have also contributed to water pollution. An estimated 14, to 30, most being children, die everyday from avoidable water related diseases. It is important that governments develop cost effective methods to ensure safe drinking water for everyone.
In order to move towards sustainability, industries must be assured of having adequate water supply but must see that water use in industrial processes is handled efficiently.
Policy makers need to allocate water to satisfy environmental demands. Water managers could improve the sustainability and productivity of irrigated systems, by considering groundwater availability when allocating surface water for irrigation.
By January, cities statewide are supposed to have regulations that limit the amount of water used for landscape irrigation in future commercial and residential projects. Developers will have to abide by a water "budget" for each property.
The Governor and lawmakers are aiming for legislation that would pay for building reservoirs and restore the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the main waterway from the north to the south.
Other legislation would force owners of most residential and commercial real estate built before to bring plumbing up to current requirements for water conservation. Gray-water systems and water meters are two popular measures with environmentalists.
Attention is also being paid to drought-tolerant plants.Christopher Bollyn is a well-travelled writer and an investigative journalist who has done extensive research into the events of September 11, , the conflict in Middle-East and the health effects caused by exposure to depleted uranium. scott-afb table of contents 6welcome..
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