March 22, 2015 · 10:10 am
The way water is managed now, or not managed as the case may be, will lead to a global crisis in 15 years, a new UN report warns, unless an array of sustainable water-management practices are adopted. Within that decade and a half, the report predicts a much larger human population will have only 60% of the freshwater it needs.
Many parts of the world are suffering water stress to varying degrees now; in 15 years the stress will be more severe and more widespread, amounting to a life-threatening crisis in water-poor regions. But, as outlined in the United Nations World Water Development Report 2015, released in advance of World Water Day (today, March 22), there is hope. Read the report: Water for a Sustainable World (The report was released by UNESCO on behalf of UN-Water, or which my employer, WaterLex, is a member.)
Filed under Climate Change, Conservation, Drought, Environment, Groundwater
Tagged as environmental issues, human right to water and sanitation, UN, UN-Water, United Nations, WaterLex, World Water Day 2015
January 4, 2014 · 1:27 pm
OK, it may not be as glamorous or as self-important as the Academy Awards, aka The Oscars, but the International Desalination Association (IDA) exists and it gives out awards. That’s two new things I learned today.
IDA is a non-profit international NGO* that strives to educate people about desalination and water reuse. Its 2013 Channabasappa Memorial Scholarship has been awarded to Leila Karimi, a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute for Energy and the Environment, Chemical Engineering Department, New Mexico State University. Her focus, according to the award announcement, is on “the selective removal of ions in an electrodialysis reversal process as one of the inland desalination technologies that is appropriate for brackish groundwater.” Good for her, especially because Australian researchers recently concluded that there’s a whole lot more brackish, or somewhat salty, groundwater in the world than previously thought.
*(NGO, or non-governmental organization; the abbreviation is used more commonly than the spelled-out version in the development world, e.g., the world of the United Nations and various other regional and international aid organizations.)
Filed under Awards and Honors, Desalination, Groundwater, NGOs, Oceans, Technology, Water Resources
Tagged as Channabasappa Memorial Scholarship, International Desalination Association, Leila Karimi, New Mexico State University, NGO, United Nations
December 16, 2013 · 11:18 am
The Hindu newspaper of India says that a United Nations report leaked online warns of dire consequences for freshwater resources if greenhouse gases remain unchecked.
The report is reportedly a final draft by the Working Group II of the UN Intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC), sent to all governments for comment before being finalized and released.
“In response to on-going climate change, terrestrial and marine species have shifted their ranges, seasonal activities, migration patterns, and abundance, have demonstrated altered species,” notes the report’s summary, adding that developing countries, especially, are vulnerable to damaging climatic events (e.g., heat waves, droughts, floods and wildfires).
Regarding freshwater availability, the summary warns:
“Climate change will reduce renewable surface water and groundwater resources significantly in most dry subtropical regions, exacerbating competition for water among sectors. Each degree of warming is projected to decrease renewable water resources by at least 20% for an additional 7% of the global population.”
As the report notes, dried-up water sources will hurt crop yields even as demand surges with population growth.
Filed under Climate Change, Environment, Research, United Nations, Water Shortage
Tagged as Climate Change, Greenhouse gas, Hindu, India, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, United Nations, Water Resources, Working Group
December 13, 2013 · 3:31 pm
In the past day, this blog saw its new Water Resources page come online, and now it’s joined by another informative page that will be updated on a regular basis: Water Facts. Like the resources page, it’s a quick-reference guide. It gives a sense of urgent issues related to water, such as the number of people worldwide whose lack of it could be life-threatening, as well as less-dire, yet nonetheless interesting, facts (wait, it takes how many gallons of water to produce one hamburger?!)
Filed under Agriculture, Blog Changes and Updates, Environment, Human rights, Research, Water Resources, Water Shortage
Tagged as Earth, Environment, facts, figures, Human rights, metrics, Nature (journal), Organization, United Nations, Water, Water Resources, water shortage, World Bank
December 13, 2013 · 10:02 am
At the Waterline is still a new blog, with fresh information pages still being added. The Water Resources page doesn’t say “coming soon” anymore — it has actual resources! It’s a list, in alphabetical order, of agencies and media sources concerned with water issues. It’s a work in progress, so be sure to check on it from time to time. Go there.
A Water Facts page is still, ahem, “coming soon.”
Filed under Agriculture, Blog Changes and Updates, Climate Change, Environment, Groundwater, NGOs, Oceans, Research, Rivers and Watersheds, Sustainability, United Nations, Water Resources
Tagged as Drinking water, Environment, international, Research Groups and Centers, UN-Water, United Nations, Water, Water Resources, World Bank