World Water Day
While the world's population tripled in the 20th century, the use of renewable water resources has grown six-fold. Within the next fifty years, the world population will increase by another 40 to 50 %. This population growth - coupled with industrialization and urbanization - will result in an increasing demand for water and will have serious consequences on the environment.
People lack drinking water and sanitation
Already there is more waste water generated and dispersed today than at any other time in the history of our planet: more than one out of six people lack access to safe drinking water, namely 1.1 billion people, and more than two out of six lack adequate sanitation, namely 2.6 billion people (Estimation for 2002, by theWHO/UNICEF JMP, 2004). 3900 children die every day from water borne diseases (WHO 2004). One must know that these figures represent only people with very poor conditions. In reality, these figures should be much higher.
Water resources are becoming scarce
Although food security has been significantly increased in the past thirty years, water withdrawals for irrigation represent 66 % of the total withdrawals and up to 90 % in arid regions, the other 34 % being used by domestic households (10 %), industry (20 %), or evaporated from reservoirs (4 %). (Source: Shiklomanov, 1999)
As the per capita use increases due to changes in lifestyle and as population increases as well, the proportion of water for human use is increasing. This, coupled with spatial and temporal variations in water availability, means that the water to produce food for human consumption, industrial processes and all the other uses is becoming scarce.
It is all the more critical that increased water use by humans does not only reduce the amount of water available for industrial and agricultural development but has a profound effect on aquatic ecosystems and their dependent species. Environmental balances are disturbed and cannot play their regulating role anymore. (See Water and Nature)
For more information, visit http://www.worldwatercouncil.org/index.php?id=25
Water Conservation Facts: Know Your Usage
Careless use of our water resources is the surest way to bring about a future water crisis. That’s why it’s important to learn your water conservation facts now.
Water Conservation Facts and Tips
A person can survive about a month without food, but only 5 to 7 days without water.
Showering and bathing are the largest indoor uses (27%) of water domestically.
A leaky faucet can waste 100 gallons a day.
An average bath requires 37 gallons of water.
You use about 5 gallons of water if you leave the water running while brushing your teeth.
If you water your grass and trees more heavily, but less often, this saves water and builds stronger roots.
Don’t leave the water running when brushing your teeth or shaving. Get in the habit of turning off the water when it’s not being used.
· One inch of rainfall drops 7,000 gallons or nearly 30 tons of water on a 60' by 180' piece of land.
For more information, visit http://www.sscwd.org
Efficient water use in different users sectors
° Households: Water can be used efficiently at any level, beginning with households. In general, the approximate daily consumption of water per person is estimated at: 36% for flushing the toilet and 31% for personal hygiene; 14% is used for washing clothes; and the remaining 19% is divided among different activities, such as garden watering, car washing, house cleaning, recreation, etc. There are technological options on the market for all cases and uses that use water efficiently; this can mean a potential saving of 30% in water consumption.
° Industry: Here, the main actions for efficient water use are: water recycling in production processes, reuse and reduction of internal water consumption. Efficient water use in the industry follows the same principles of clean production.
° Agriculture: Here, efficient water use is oriented towards a better operation of irrigation systems. This sector uses approximately 80% of the water that is extracted for human productive activities. The implementation of efficient water programs in this sector should be considered a priority and the actions should be oriented towards developing farming programs, optimal use of fresh water, monitoring of soil and climatic conditions, forecast of drought and flooding, implementation of efficient irrigation techniques, the development of monitoring programs for leakage, development and use of tariff structures/metering, and leak control in distribution nets.
° River basin: The river basin, considered an integral water unit, is where all needs and benefits of efficient water use are clearly reflected. Water should be guaranteed for ecosystems in terms of quantity and quality. Some measures can entail water saving from different users (water for human, agricultural and industrial use, for producing energy and for other uses).
For more information, visit http://www.irc.nl