FAQ:  Water Security


Q.   What does "Water Security" mean?

A.    Water security can be defined as the ability to access sufficient quantities of clean water to maintain adequate standards of food and goods production, proper sanitation, and sustainable health care.

Q.   But, we live on a water-rich planet; why are we concerned about water security?

A.    Water, in absolute terms, is not in short supply planet-wide.  But, according to the United Nations water organization, UN-Water, the total usable freshwater supply for ecosystems and humans is only about 200,000 km3 of water – less than one percent (<1%) of all freshwater resources.
 

The total usable freshwater supply for ecosystems and humans is less than 1 percent of all freshwater resources.

And, water use has been growing at more than twice the rate of the population increase in the last century.  Specifically, water withdrawals are predicted to increase by 50 percent by 2025 in developing countries, and 18 per cent in developed countries.  By 2025, 800 million people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world population could be under stress conditions.*

 

Q.    What can we do to combat water scarcity and improve water security?

A.    We can manage our water better:  take better care of our water resources, clean up the water that mankind has polluted, and improve upon current water purification technologies clean water access systems.

For example:  in developing countries, 70 percent of industrial wastes are dumped untreated into waters where they pollute the usable water supply.*  Many pollutants in industrial wastes, and those in water produced by mining and oil & gas operations, have been proven to cause immediate illnesses and chronic illnesses, birth defects, and immediate or eventual death in human populations.  These pollutants have also affected crops and livestock, frequently destroying both. 

This practice of dumping industrial, mining and oil & gas wastes and “produced water” from those processes should be eliminated and the polluted water should be cleaned up.


 
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