Friday, March 23, 2007

Water supplies:challenges ahead

Thursday ,March the 22 nd , was the water`s world day .It looked like everyone of us, as usual ,were on our daily basis activitiesl. However some few people has already started to worry about water conservation and water supplies .Why?, Because it is one of the key natural resource next to become relatively scarce . While demand increase at a pace of 2-3% a year, the supply does not increase at such pace.-
No more than 2 % of current available water ,is suitable for human consumption, and more than 90% of water useable for human consumption is underground, which means that it is going to require heavy investment to cope with the increase demand of water. Besides, more than 70% of water available for human consumption ,is used as an input to produce foods, and Mining and agriculture must compete with each other to get the same resource: water.-
Actually there are some communities which do not have water at all, which imply high rate of diseases because of the lack of water. In fact, 1,4 billion people do not have access to safe water and more than double that amount, do not have proper sanitation conditions because of lacking water.3800 children die every day ,because of lacking of proper sanitary conditions related to insufficient water supply.
Some additional data relevant to this discussion make the problem even more complicated: Up to 60% of human body is water, the brain is composed of 70% of water, lungs are 90% of water ,our blood is 83% of water ,and like an engine; human body needs to replace 2,4 litres of water daily. While the reduction in oil reserves can be solved by replacing it, for different and alternatives means of energy ,to keep on moving the engine of growth, water can not be replaced as the main input in human body . As a result of this, if there is no water available for human consumption, that will means higher mortality rates. Water is the essential to make human body to live, like fuel is the essential to move a car .-
The challenges is twofold ( : To reduce wasteful water consumption, and to provide safe water to those who actually lack the supply of it and whose lives depend on it. At the same time, these two challenges, mount to a new model of water management .
Concerning the first challenge( source :USGS)
a.- Nearly ¾ of water that comes to our homes goes down the drain.
b.- A faucet that leaks at the a rate of one drop per second, wastes five gallons of water per day, and 2082 gallons a year.
Concerning the second challenge:
Some key world organization are working on projects aimed at a better access of water, in communities with insufficiency of water supply, most of them in Africa.-
What about the new management model?. From the economic point of view , a scarce resource, must have a price which is equivalent to its scarcity level. Therefore ,those activities highly water intensive, should paid the price for it ,or use alternative source of water, like the one coming from the sea .Therefore ,the new model imply a different prices for water, such as to reduce its wasteful consumption and its misused in productive purposes, and new technologies aimed at take the most advantage of sea water, such that more water will be available for delivering to those communities actually lacking this resource. Finally, global warming and water supply shortages, looks like a global nightmare. Well,that is the challenges the human specie is more suitable for.-

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