World Water Crisis

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Footsteps, yarns and little fibs
The logic of a leftie about the world shortage of drinking water.

Submitted: June 24, 2016

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Submitted: June 24, 2016

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While approximately two thirds of our planet’s surface is water, the largest proportion is salt water, with only some 3% being what most would call, 'fresh water’. The availability of fresh water to the world's population is less than 0.007% of the world's total water resource.

This has serious connotations as the world population explodes and climate change seems likely to cause marginal areas to dry out! Water scarcity in populated areas is becoming a conundrum for authorities.

In the UK for example, if you take a glass of water from the tap, you do so knowing that the water has already passed through the bodies of seven people. Don’t be alarmed though, it has been cleaned up so is safe!

Here in New Zealand, dairy farming has put extra pressure on the water resources so that the faecal count and fertilizer residues in waterways means that nowadays nearly all drinking water needs to be chemically treated. And again, the resource has a limit, therefore it has a value.

Within my stories I will record some of my experiences relating to water and hope that somehow there will become a greater awareness of the need to conserve the finite resource that it is.

Humankind has contributed to the rapid decline of water quality, but sometimes natural resources can be naturally polluted as well. The water from the slopes of Mt Meru, Tanzania has contaminants of fluoride and other salts. This causes the brown staining of teeth, and in some cases bone deformities.

People visiting the Arusha region often assume people’s teeth have been poorly maintained or are rotten from eating sugar cane! Not so, the cause is simply high amounts of fluoride in the water!

Of course the local population is aware of the contaminants but most have no choice but to drink it.

To illustrate just how finite the water-for-consumption resource is, whenever or wherever water is consumed a single glassful has at least one molecule that has passed through the body of Cleopatra! 

We are warned about ‘global warming’ and ‘man made climate change’, caused principally by CO² released through the activities of human populations and industrialisation. Not so much is mentioned about natural climate cycles.

I’m no scientist and only attended the school-of-hard-knocks, but I am interested in ecology, the environment and sustainability.

I have heard nothing mentioned about a few things that seem to logical to me – but of course, I’m left handed and we lefties have our own logic!

. Carbon dioxide is a part of the food cycle of plants, so logic says if there is more food available, then plants will grow larger as in prehistory. That does not appear to be happening.

. The gas belched out by industry and machinery, including motor vehicles, is carbon monoxide. Every school kid knew that in my day! So why is CO² the bad guy all of a sudden?

. Revenue-seeking governments apply a tax on carbon emissions, but carbon is one of the building blocks of nature!

. Water is a finite resource, meaning exactly the same amount has been on this globe since day one. What is different is the distribution of water.

. Water becomes locked up in the water table, the underground reservoirs, vegetation, in the main trees, pumps the water from underground storage into the atmosphere to create clouds. Where does rain come from? You don’t have to be a leftie to know that!

. Forests are the cooler places on this little planet and large swathes of forest tend to have a cooling effect on the whole climate. A lot of forest cover has been removed to grow crops and to build infrastructure so deforestation contributes to global warming!

. It is the large swathes of forest such as the Congo and the Amazon that generate the greatest amounts of monsoonal rains and do their bit to contribute to our oxygen needs.

I see no justification in using dwindling resources to build SUV’s that carry one person on a tarred road journey to a workplace! The only thing sustainable about that is the employment of people (if robots haven’t already taken over) and the corporate dollar!

On the other hand jobs would be created through policies of sustainable reafforestation (the term is so unknown that it does even not appear in the Word dictionary!) and incentivising those countries that harvest indigenous hardwood rainforest to leave them in their natural state. Replanting those decimated areas would then provide employment and then sustainable forestry would become the norm.

Easter Island was once a populated and idyllic place, but the growing population removed the forest resource making the island an unsustainable paradise, so they were either forced to abandon the place or die out. A small scale event of the past but a model of what can happen in the future!

The final word on this is that trees are a renewable, thus sustainable resource and trees are chemical factories from which oils, plastics and even energy can be produced.

Plant a tree and save the world!


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