They categorize water scarcity into two different categories, the first being economic scarcity. Economic water scarcity is when the general population doesn’t have the financial means to utilize an adequate source of it. This typically arises from political and ethnic conflicts. This is also should be of concern to us, because it is the most needed for human life, and should not be held back for political or racial issues. That is just a lack of compassion and morals. Much of Africa experiences economic scarcity for clean water.
The second water scarcity is physical scarcity, in which there just is a very limited supply to no supply. It occurs when demand exceeds the regions ability to provide the needed water. Most physical scarcity is in arid regions of the world, such as the Sahara and other deserts, where it has been scarce for many, many years. A different type of physical scarcity can also occur, which is man made. Population growth, for one can also either add to, or create a physical scarcity. In fact, a recent report indicated that a global water shortage could impact half the worlds population by 2030, and the entire state of Texas has been declared a disaster area due to wildfires and drought. Water mismanagement, such as the Colorado River basin in the United States is an excellent example of water mismanagement, due to the fact that too many people rely on it, and in essence, the region is a desert. To have golf courses, massive water fountains and displays, such as in Las Vegas is just a bad idea and overall bad management.
They have, however, in recent years begun to start managing their limited water supplies better, delaying a more drastic measure of water rationing, at least for the time being. Lake Mead is nearing it’s lowest level since 1956, and threatens to further increase water scarcity in the region. Add to that the fact that the region is in a severe drought, which is expected to get worse over time with climate change, and maybe even dry up at some point. This year was a blessing, with unprecedented snowfalls in Wyoming, Utah and Colorado, which has staved off water rationing for Arizona and Nevada. Lake Mead is expected to rise from the low of 1,081 feet in November 2010 to 1,126 by December, 2011, which is good news for the region, but can it last? Some researchers believe that climate change will help create a long term drought, and an ever increasing demand for water could leave Lake Mead barren by the year 2021. Now that could be both an economic and humanitarian disaster all by itself, and man made at that for the most part.
America is under a new threat to clean water however, and that is the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011, which is part or the H.R. 2018 Bill, which is termed the dirty water bill by many, and in fact, many are referring to the summer of 2011 as the summer of dirty water, sort of opposite of clean water. It of course is supported by the GOP, and big coal, among others, and is touted as stripping the EPA of it’s authority to control water. They state, and I quote,
“in recent years, the Obama EPA has used the CWA permitting process to block coal mines in Appalachia, but coal mining isn’t the only industry threatened by EPA’s arrogance. Quarries, farmers, and commercial, residential, and infrastructure construction projects also receive CWA scrutiny and are potentially affected by EPA’s abuse of its authority.
HR 2018 is a bipartisan bill that would rein in the Obama EPA. It would bring an end to the agency’s destructive abuse of authority and restore the balance needed to get America working again.
West Virginia Congressman Nick Rahall (D) and Florida Congressman John L. Mica (R) are the bill’s lead sponsors.”
Not only that, but they are also going to hurt many other regions, including Chesapeake Bay, which hurts it’s clean water goals. According to Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-MD, “We must operate as if every program is under threat and under attack, starting with the funding needed to implement health care reform legislation and including every environmental program.” The new bill puts clean drinking water for over a third of the nation, or 117 million people at risk. To take action on this and let your voice be heard on the matter, you can take action here and voice your concerns in a formal docket.
Another new addition to the preservation of our water is fracking, which is Hydraulic fracturing, and often called fracking, fracing or hydrofracking, and is the process of initiating and subsequently propagating a fracture in a rock layer, employing the pressure of a fluid as the source of energy. This is all taking place with minimal environmental oversight. According to a report in Bloomberg BusinessWeek
“Now, reports of contaminated water and alleged disposal of carcinogens in rivers have caught state and federal regulators, and even environmental watchdogs, off guard. Sometimes the fracking mix includes diesel fuel. Between 2005 and 2009, drillers injected 32 million gallons of fluids containing diesel into wells in 19 states, an investigation by Representative Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) concludes.♦”
Another potential issue with fracking is water use, as a report from Hydraulic Fracturing Dot Com states that approximately 5 million gallons of water is required to drill and fracture a typical deep shale gas well. There are also other concerns, as this report from SourceWatch.Org states:
“Fracking — which uses enormous amounts of drinkable water along with toxic chemicals and which also releases radioactive materials and other hazardous substances in shale deposits — has raised significant environmental and health concerns. In New Mexico, for example, similar processes have leached toxic chemicals into the water table at 800 sites.”
Some states are now pushing for the release of the list of all the chemicals in the fracking solution, which was previously deemed proprietary by the “Halliburton Loophole”, which was created by Dick Cheney, the ex-head of Halliburton, whom, by the way makes over a billion US dollars a year from the process. This loophole stripped the Environmental Protection Agency of its authority to regulate a drilling process called hydraulic fracturing. This is like having the fox watch the hen house, so we must be aware of these business/government ‘partnerships’ and the lengths they go to to undermine public safety in the name of greed and profits!
To deregulate the poisoning of our waterways is just ludicrous, and to claim to do so in the name of progress is just plain immoral. they are using fear mongering again at GOP headquarters, using peoples fears about the economy and jobs to promote their interests in the name of creating more jobs, and helping their energy industry and other industrial friends. We cannot continue to dump toxic waste and other hazardous chemicals into our waterways, and expect everything to be okay forever. Sooner or later there will be a tipping point for that too, and once we reach that then what course of action do we take, and how much will that cost to clean up all the garbage they now propose to inundate our waterways with. Progressives my rear-end, more like regressive in my opinion.
As we struggle to maintain our waterways, that still leaves a billion or more people in the world without access to clean water, which is another problem in and of itself, but if we can’t even take care of our own waterways, how are we going to help them? It is an important issue, and must be dealt with and taken in full context. Water is not optional, and clean water is a necessity for life of every type. From plants and animals, to sea life, fish and seaweed, to mankind. Water is the one resource we cannot live without, period. To sacrifice that in the name of profits is so low that it even goes beyond being immoral and unethical. I would say that it could rate as being down right evil. And I thought all those movies from Hollywood about the ‘evil corporations’ were exaggerated, or at least I was hoping they were, guess I was wrong about that, my bad.
Here is a video about a current plight in East Africa which threatens 12 million people as they face the worst drought in 60 years.
Here are some organizations where you can help people to get more access to safe, clean water.
The Water Project, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization bringing relief to communities around the world who suffer needlessly from a lack of access to clean water and proper sanitation.
A Child’s Right is a nonprofit relief organization formed by a collective of concerned professionals wishing to change the current living standards and health of impoverished children the world over. Our staff, members and consultants come from very diverse backgrounds working with water purification and sanitation technologies, water quality issues at US governmental standards, hygiene education practices, pediatric care, and international relief work.
Water 1st International‘s s mission is to serve people in the poorest communities in the world as they implement community-managed projects that integrate water supply, sanitation, and health education. Water 1st unites people to fight this worldwide, silent catastrophe. We believe the global water crisis will be solved when we build a community of concerned individuals, and mobilize them to take simple, effective actions.
Our Vision: We envision a world free of extreme poverty. Providing people with safe water systems, toilets, and hygiene education is the 1st step to ending the cycle of poverty, illness, and inequality.
WaterAid is an international non governmental organization dedicated exclusively to the provision of safe domestic water, sanitation and hygiene education to the world’s poorest people. They work by helping local organizations set up low cost, sustainable projects using appropriate technology that can be managed by the community itself. They also seek to influence the policies of other key organizations, such as governments, to secure and protect the right of poor people to safe, affordable water and sanitation services.
Charity Water is a non profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations. charity: water give’s 100% of the money raised to direct project costs, funding sustainable clean water solutions in areas of greatest need.
Water For People helps people in developing countries improve their quality of life by supporting the development of locally sustainable drinking water resources, sanitation facilities and health and hygiene education programs. Their vision is a world where all people have access to safe drinking water and sanitation; a world where no one suffers or dies from a water- or sanitation-related disease.
Global Water Challenge is an initiative to save lives and reduce suffering in the developing world by providing safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene education to people who lack these basic services. Launched by a diverse coalition of corporations, foundations, and aid organizations, the GWC is a unique partnership to build healthy communities and provide sustainable solutions to ensure the availability of potable water for those in need. The goal of the GWC is to bring safe water and sanitation to millions by identifying and multiplying the solutions that work.
The goal of the Blue Planet Run Foundation is to raise money and awareness about the global water situation by conducting the longest relay run in history. The event will consist of an international team of 18 runners; they will sprint around the world for 100 days, 24 hours a day through 16 countries; they will activate the foundation’s message all the while. The Foundation has already funded more than 40 projects in 12 countries. They expect to raise enough money to provide over 35,000 people with clean water while also raising awareness.
Just A Drop charity supports water, sanitation and health projects worldwide. It also assists in providing water purifying tablets, water containers and hygiene packs to the victims of disasters, such as in times of major floods and earthquakes.
Thirst Relief strives to provide clean water to undeserved areas and they work in conjunction with a worldwide distribution network of humanitarian relief organizations, missionaries, churches, and other tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations. In most cases, these trusted partners are already operating at the point of need, and provide the advantages of language understanding, cultural sensitivity, and established relationships with the beneficiaries. This highly integral distribution network is used to help identify clean drinking water needs, provide input to formulate the best pure water solution, and ultimately assist with the distribution and implementation of the clean water systems.
Global Water is an international non-profit, non-sectarian, and non-governmental humanitarian organization solely committed to the development of safe water-related projects around the world. To achieve this goal, Global Water has modified its mode of operation from an advisory, coordinating, and educational entity into an equipment-oriented project organization.
Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor WSUP’s mission is to advance the Millennium Development Goals for water, sanitation, and associated health benefits through multi-sector, stakeholder partnerships delivering sustainable, equitable, and affordable water and sanitation services to the urban poor in developing countries.
Water Partners International is challenging the traditional approach to assisting people in developing countries. Their goals are to draw attention to the world’s number one health problem, unsafe and inadequate water supplies, and to raise funds to help fight this immense problem–one community at a time. One major focus is to develop high quality, sustainable water projects – They use their expertise to foster high-quality, sustainable, community-level water supply projects. They promote innovative solutions that enable communities to take a leading role in solving their own water supply problems.
The End Water Poverty campaign is demanding that governments provide sanitation and water for the world’s poorest people. They are calling for: One global action plan for sanitation and water monitored by one global task force; 70% of aid money for sanitation and water to be targeted at the poorest countries; Water resources to be protected and shared equitably
Water Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) The Council exists under a mandate from the United Nations. They are governed by a multi-stakeholder steering committee elected by the Council’s members, combining the authority of the UN with the flexibility of an NGO and the legitimacy of a membership organisation. They focus exclusively on those people around the world who currently lack water and sanitation, with all their policies and work aimed only to serve those people. They have a special interest in sanitation and hygiene and emphasize the need to view water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) as an inseparable trinity for development.
Water Advocates is the first US-based nonprofit organization dedicated solely to increasing American support for worldwide access to safe, affordable and sustainable supplies of drinking water and adequate sanitation. Their purpose is advocacy, not implementation of projects. Water Advocates works with all sectors of American society to increase public and private-citizen funding for effective water, sanitation and hygiene projects and initiatives internationally, particularly those characterized by strong community involvement.
Healing Waters International works to reduce water-related illnesses and deaths in developing countries by building self-sustaining projects that make safe drinking water accessible to the poor.
This list of organizations was to help the world clean water crisis, so we hope that you are able to help any one of these, or tell your friends, spread the word. Peace my friends, and fight the good fight!