Today the world is observing the World Water Day 2013 with the theme International Water cooperation. The most important phenomena; discussed throughout the world, is the scarcity of one of the most essential resource vital for human existence. Today when 85% of the world population lives in the driest half of the planet everyone is looking for a strategy to conserve what little resources we have.
As WHO and UNICEF reported in 2010 over half of the world’s population lives in urban areas, the number of urban dwellers grow each day and the Urban areas are struggling to keep up with the population growth. As you read this piece, 783 million people do not have access to clean water and almost 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation. Moreover, 6 to 8 million people die annually from the consequences of disasters and water-related diseases.
Water is not only necessary for human consumption in the current era; water is an essential need to support life and production of daily use products, however most of the world seems unaware of the fact that how scarce the water actually is.
UN Water predicted that by 2025: 1800 million people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, Two-thirds of the world population could be under stress conditions and Water withdrawals will be increased by 50 percent in developing countries, and 18 per cent in developed countries.
The fear of riots and wars over water is a fast growing phenomenon. These forecasts come not just from the environmental movements and NGOs, but also from officials of institutions like the World Bank. One of the Bank’s Vice President for Environmental Affairs and Chairman of the World Water Commission stated bluntly a few years ago that: “The wars of the 21st century will be fought over water.” The former UN secretary general Boutros Boutros Ghali said something similar about water wars. So did Jordan’s late King Hussein, who had obvious cause to mean it.
Digging deeper into the subject reveals frightening facts, with expected increases in population, by 2030, food demand is predicted to increase by 50% (70% by 2050), while energy demand from hydropower and other renewable energy resources will rise by 60%. Economic growth and individual wealth are shifting diets from predominantly starch-based to meat and dairy, which require more water. Producing 1 kg of rice, for example, requires 3,500 L of water, 1 kg of beef 15,000 L, and a cup of coffee 140 L. This dietary shift is the greatest to impact on water consumption over the past 30 years, and is likely to continue well into the middle of the twenty-first century.
Although water availability is expected to decrease in many regions future global agricultural water consumption alone is estimated to increase by 19% by 2050, and will be even greater in the absence of any technological progress or policy intervention.
Awareness in this regard is as vital as technological progress and policy intervention. The facts and figures with regards to water wastage are truly horrifying. Here is a just an overview;
- 1 Home 1 leak dripping 20 per minute = 694 gallons per year
- 1 Home 1 leak dripping 30 per minute = 1041 gallons per year
- 1 Home 1 leak dripping 60 per minute = 2082 gallons per year
- 1 Home leaking toilet can leak 25,000 gallons per month or more
- 50 homes dripping 60 drips per minute would use
- 285 gallons per day, 8,550 gallons per month 104,100 gallons per year
- 100 homes dripping 60 drips per minute would use
- 570 gallons per day, 17,100 gallons per month 208,200 gallons per year
- 500 homes dripping 60 drips per minute would use
- 2,852 gallons per day, 85,560 gallons per month 1,041,000 gallons per year
According to Desert Water Agency statistics an average person uses 207 Gallons of water per day for his existence. This consumption includes bathroom use, lawn watering, toilet, laundry, dish washing, hand washing and other uses. Similarly the same person uses 6210 gallons per month and 75555 gallons per years for his existence. These numbers give as a clear idea of the gravity of the numbers above. Today, I resolute to save water for my life and for our future generations. What is your resolution?