Avoiding to get Water at the price of gold #2 Dealing with effects of a changing climate

In the previous posting we saw that the water which comes out of the tap does not always have to be safe water. There are many souls who can tamper with it. But to make it clean drinkable water the providers have to make costs to clean the available water to make it as pure as possible or good enough for consumption.

All living in the capitalist world should know that it is not so obvious that we can receive drinkable water at our doorstep. Many live somewhere where they cannot drink the water out of the tap and often have to walk for miles even there not finding what we would call pure (drinking) water.

When we do not belong to the 844 million people in the world, 1 in 9 people, who lack access to safe water and 1 in 3 people who lack access to a toilet, we may count ourselves by the lucky ones. But that also should us make aware we have to be careful how we use our water.

We should take care the water we use shall be able to be reintroduced into the city’s distribution network, making it so that we not always have to use totally new water. But we must also be aware that such filtration plants that can help to ensure the city has a safe and reliable supply of drinking water in the event of a future drought, has a cost, and that cost we can help to keep it down as well.

As we deal with the effects of a changing climate we should seriously think about the way we use water from the tab. We should consider if we not better use other water for flushing the toilet, washing the car, giving water to the plants, etc..

With the knowledge that water is one of our most important sources of living we may not be ignorant of the decreasing saltless water level all over the world. When we could see out of space the ground discolouring last year, the surface of this earth showed clearly how it had a shortage of water. And those water-levels are not raised enough yet. The groundwater level is very low.

We have the satellite warning system, but how are people willing to react on it and are they willing to change their habit of using water?

No access any more to drink-water can give a lot of problems. Access to safe water and sanitation can quickly turn problems into potential – empowering people with time for school and work, and contributing to improved health for women, children, and families around the world.

We also should remember that when there would come a water-crisis, we shall have to face a health crisis as well. The water crisis is a health crisis. Access to safe water and sanitation contributes to improved health and helps prevent the spread of infectious disease. It means reduced child and maternal mortality rates. It means reduced physical injury from constant lifting and carrying heavy loads of water. Several people do not think about other risks it may bring, certainly in remote areas. In India and Africa this creates still several risks for females. Availability of streaming water in the house, means reduced risk of sexual violence and increased safety as women and girls do not have to go to remote, dangerous places to relieve themselves.

Those countries where there is (at the moment) enough water should think about what to do with it and with the wastewater, from the industry as well from the households. It  must be treated so that it can be used for non-drinking purposes. There are several low costs and amiable technologies available that can be implemented in group housing areas.

Rainwater harvesting is an important source for people in rural areas but also in cities people should collect it and use it for their plants and other purposes (like cleaning the car). Naturally there should be enough rainwater to be collected at the right areas in and in the right ways. In Belgium we see everywhere ‘concrete’ or ‘hard surfaces’ where it is made impossible for the rainwater to go in the ground, because it streams into the gutter. All that water which disappears in the drain could and should have been used.

Much more efforts should be made by all the different parties, private households, schools, offices, factories to make better use of the drink and waste water. Our society should also increase the existing capacity of the reservoirs by making new reservoirs and by reducing sedimentation. Doing so we must take care that while working on it there should be no damage to the environment and ecology.

At the moment most people over here count on it that we would have enough water all the time. At the moment they still find enough for their daily needs.

According Mesfin M. Mekonnen* and Arjen Y. Hoekstra, a water management professor at the University of Twente in Enschede, two-thirds of the global population (4.0 billion people) live under conditions of severe water scarcity at least 1 month of the year. Nearly half of those people live in India and China. Half a billion people in the world face severe water scarcity all year round. Putting caps to water consumption by river basin, increasing water-use efficiencies, and better sharing of the limited freshwater resources will be key in reducing the threat posed by water scarcity on biodiversity and human welfare.

During the last few decades, it has become evident that because of a steadily increasing demand, freshwater scarcity is becoming a threat to sustainable development of human society. The increasing world population, improving living standards, changing consumption patterns, and expansion of irrigated agriculture are the main driving forces for the rising global demand for water.

The researchers do find that at the global level and on an annual basis, there could be enough freshwater available to meet such demand, but spatial and temporal variations of water demand and availability are large, leading to water scarcity in several parts of the world during specific times of the year.

Year-round low blue water scarcity can be found in the forested areas of South America (notably the Amazon basin), Central Africa (the Congo basin), and Malaysia-Indonesia (Sumatra, Borneo, New Guinea) and in the northern forested and subarctic parts of North America, Europe, and Asia. Other places with low water scarcity throughout the year can be found in the eastern half of the United States, in large parts of Europe, and in parts of South China. Africa shows a band roughly between 5° and 15° northern latitude with low water scarcity from May or June to January but moderate to severe water scarcity from February to April. A similar picture is found for the areas between 10° and 25° northern latitude, with moderate to severe water scarcity from February to May or June in Mexico (Central America) and India (South Asia). At higher latitudes, in the western part of the United States, Southern Europe, Turkey, Central Asia, and North China, there are many areas experiencing moderate to severe water scarcity in the spring-summer period. Regions with moderate to severe water scarcity during more than half of the year include northern Mexico and parts of the western United States, parts of Argentina and northern Chile, North Africa and Somalia, Southern Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan, and Australia.

High water scarcity levels appear to prevail in areas with either high population density (for example, Greater London area) or the presence of much irrigated agriculture (High Plains in the United States), or both (India, eastern China, Nile delta). High water scarcity levels also occur in areas without dense populations or intense irrigated agriculture but with very low natural water availability, such as in the world’s arid areas (for example, Sahara, Taklamakan, Gobi, and Central Australia deserts). Water scarcity in the Arabian Desert is worse than that in other deserts because of the higher population density and irrigation intensity. In many river basins, for instance, the Ganges basin in India, the Limpopo basin in Southern Africa, and the Murray-Darling basin in Australia, blue water consumption and blue water availability are countercyclical, with water consumption being highest when water availability is lowest.

The researchers who had their paper published in the journal Science Advances, find that the number of people facing severe water scarcity for at least 4 to 6 months is 1.8 to 2.9 billion, which is the range provided by earlier estimates. More than a billion people experience severe water scarcity “only” 1 to 3 months per year, a fact that definitely affects the people involved but gets lost in annual water scarcity evaluations.

Water scarcity map

Their conclusions should make the leaders of this world be aware of the importance to stock water and to treat it preciously, because the situation is to worsen if we do not take measures to stop global warming, population growth and increasing water use – particularly through eating meat. Many places, like Yemen, are living on borrowed time as aquifers are continuously depleted, including Pakistan, Iran, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia.

We also should be aware that farming is the biggest user of water and the growing global population requires more food. The growing meat consumption has to be stopped and we should take care that each animal has enough green space around it. We all must be aware that changing diets are having a major impact, and that eating less red meat would be a better way for people to cut carbon emissions than giving up their cars.

The popular red meat requires 28 times more land to produce than pork or chicken, 11 times more water and results in five times more climate-warming emissions. When compared to staples like potatoes, wheat, and rice, the impact of beef per calorie is even more extreme, requiring 160 times more land and producing 11 times more greenhouse gases.

We need agriculture but we should take care that it does not suck out the earth. We must open our eyes and see that it is a significant driver of global warming and causes 15% of all emissions, half of which are from livestock. All those animals also use a lot of water. The huge amounts of grain and water needed to raise cattle is a concern to experts worried about feeding an extra 2 billion people by 2050.

Hoekstra says

Meeting humanity’s increasing demand for freshwater and protecting ecosystems at the same time, thus maintaining blue water footprints within maximum sustainable levels per catchment, will be one of the most difficult and important challenges of this century.

Governments have to designate a water cap for their area every month in order to help regulate water use depending on the available supply. This also raises the public’s awareness on just how much water they use to meet their basic needs.

Proper water scarcity assessment, at the necessary detail, will facilitate governments, companies, and investors to develop adequate response strategies. Water productivities in crop production will need to be increased by increasing yields and reducing non-productive evaporation.

It will be important that governments and companies formulate water footprint benchmarks based on best available technology and practice. {M. M. Mekonnen, A. Y. Hoekstra, Water footprint benchmarks for crop production: A first global assessment. Ecol. Indic.vol.46, page 214-223,2014).}

Individual countries and regions need to urgently tackle the critical problems presented by water stress. Water has to be treated as a scarce resource, with a far stronger focus on managing demand. Integrated water resources management provides a broad framework for governments to align water use patterns with the needs and demands of different users, including the environment.

But each individual at home can also take on the task to use lesser water. For example, can we find lots of people in the West who think they can not be clean without a shower. Though a person can wash him very well at a sink and by doing so save a lot of water. For the skin it is also not so good to take a bath every day. It weakens our immune system.

Many also should consider not washing their car every week, and when they want to wash their car to use rainwater or to go to a car-wash, where there is made use of a closed circular water system.

Hoekstra and his colleagues hope that their findings can help urge people to take action on the ongoing water shortage. The study can provide them with information on how to use water efficiently and sustainably and how to make a lasting difference by changing even their consumption habits.

Sustainable consumption and production, through improved resource efficiency and lifestyle changes, should be promoted; waste reduction and management must be prioritized; and each individual should take account of what he or she wants to use and wherefore.
Furthermore we have to ensure the supply of clean water and sanitation to every family on the planet. The human cost – in terms of reducing diarrhoeal diseases, malaria and other preventable diseases – is immeasurable. This alone makes the case for action overwhelming.

Each little step can contribute to more available drink-water and a better environment.

Let us see to it that the drinkable water does not become so rare that fortunes will have to be paid for it. Pure water precious as gold should be available to all.



Avoiding to get Water at the price of gold #1 Global risks landscape

Waste and recycling

Environment in 2013

The Lion King – Circle of Life

2015 Ecology

2016 review Health and environment

Egypt facing water scarcity

High time to to put the environment at the heart of people’s lives

How We Can Make the World a Better Place by 2030

Taking care of the drinkable water

World Water Day 2019


Additional reading

  1. The natural beauties of life
  2. How to make sustainable, green habits second nature
  3. Vatican meeting of mayors talking about global warming, human trafficking and modern-day slavery
  4. Pope Francis Raises Hopes for an Ecological Church
  5. Republican member of Congress from Arizona to boycott pope’s address over climate change
  6. What we don’t say about the refugee crisis?
  7. 2016 It’s a New Year!
  8. Building a low-carbon world: the sixth industrial revolution
  9. UK Politicians willing to tear up decades of environmental protections
  10. Senator Loren Legarda says climate change not impossible to address
  11. Spring Pools
  12. Air-conditioning treath and HFCs extremely powerful heat-trappers
  13. Holistic policies and practices to protect, restore and sustain healthy forests
  14. Let’s Jump On The Bandwagon
  15. Africa’s human existence and development under threat from the adverse impacts of climate change


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About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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4 Responses to Avoiding to get Water at the price of gold #2 Dealing with effects of a changing climate

  1. Pingback: Freshwater, marine and coastal pollution | Marcus Ampe's Space

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