Talk:Water scarcity

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Merged Water stress and Water crisis into Water scarcity. Further editing may be needed.

Moved to Water security[edit]


According to Nature (2010), about 80% of the world's population (5.6 billion in 2011) live in areas with threats to water security. The water security is a shared threat to human and nature and it is pandemic. Human water-management strategies can be detrimental to wildlife, such as migrating fish. Regions with intensive agriculture and dense populations, such as the US and Europe, have a high threat of water security. Researchers estimate that during 2010-2015, ca US$800 billion will be required to cover the annual global investment in water infrastructure. Good management of water resources can jointly manage biodiversity protection and human water security. Preserving flood plains rather than constructing flood-control reservoirs would provide a cost-effective way to control floods while protecting the biodiversity of wildlife that occupies such areas.[1]

Lawrence Smith, the president of the population institute, asserts that although an overwhelming majority of the planet is composed of water, 97% of this water is constituted of saltwater; the fresh water used to sustain humans is only 3% of the total amount of water on Earth.[2] Therefore, Smith believes that the competition for water in an overpopulated world would pose a major threat to human stability,[2] even going so far as to postulate apocalyptic world wars being fought over the control of thinning ice sheets and nearly dessicated reservoirs.[2] Nevertheless, 2 billion people have supposedly gained access to a safe water source since 1990 who may have earlier lacked it.[3] The proportion of people in developing countries with access to safe water is calculated to have improved from 30 percent in 1970[4] to 71 percent in 1990, 79 percent in 2000 and 84 percent in 2004, parallel with rising population. This trend is projected to continue.[3]

The Earth has a limited though renewable supply of fresh water, stored in aquifers, surface waters and the atmosphere. Oceans are a good source of usable water, but the amount of energy needed to convert saline water to potable water is prohibitive with conventional approaches, explaining why only a very small fraction of the world's water supply is derived from desalination.[5] However, modern technologies, such as the Seawater Greenhouse, use solar energy to desalinate seawater for agriculture and drinking uses in an extremely cost-effective manner.

Conventional fossil or nuclear energy based desalination[edit]

Due to record low rainfall in Summer 2005, the reservoir behind Sameura Dam runs low. The reservoir supplies water to Takamatsu, Shikoku Island, Japan.

As new technological innovations continue to reduce the capital cost of desalination, more countries are building desalination plants as a small element in addressing their water crises.[6]

  • Israel desalinizes water for a cost of 53 cents per cubic meter [7]
  • Singapore desalinizes water for 49 cents per cubic meter [8] and also treats sewage with reverse osmosis for industrial and potable use (NEWater).
  • China and India, the world's two most populous countries, are turning to desalination to provide a small part of their water needs [9][10]
  • In 2007 Pakistan announced plans to use desalination [11]
  • All Australian capital cities (except Darwin, Northern Territory and Hobart) are either in the process of building desalination plants, or are already using them. In late 2011, Melbourne will begin using Australia's largest desalination plant, the Wonthaggi desalination plant to raise low reservoir levels.
  • In 2007 Bermuda signed a contract to purchase a desalination plant [12]
  • The largest desalination plant in the United States is the one at Tampa Bay, Florida, which began desalinizing 25 million gallons (95000 m³) of water per day in December 2007.[13] In the United States, the cost of desalination is $3.06 for 1,000 gallons, or 81 cents per cubic meter.[14] In the United States, California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida use desalination for a very small part of their water supply.[15][16][17]
  • After being desalinized at Jubail, Saudi Arabia, water is pumped 200 miles (320 km) inland though a pipeline to the capital city of Riyadh.[18]

A January 17, 2008, article in the Wall Street Journal states, "World-wide, 13,080 desalination plants produce more than 12 billion gallons of water a day, according to the International Desalination Association." [19]

The world's largest desalination plant is the Jebel Ali Desalination Plant (Phase 2) in the United Arab Emirates. It is a dual-purpose facility that uses multi-stage flash distillation and is capable of producing 300 million cubic meters of water per year.[20]

A typical aircraft carrier in the U.S. military uses nuclear power to desalinize 400,000 US gallons (1,500,000 L) of water per day.[21]

While desalinizing 1,000 US gallons (3,800 L) of water can cost as much as $3, the same amount of bottled water costs $7,945.[22]

However, given the energy intensive nature of desalination, with associated economic and environmental costs, desalination is generally considered a last resort after water conservation. But this is changing as prices continue to fall.

According to MSNBC, a report by Lux Research estimated that the worldwide desalinated water supply will triple between 2008 and 2020.[23]

However, not everyone is convinced that desalination is or will be economically viable or environmentally sustainable for the foreseeable future. Debbie Cook, the former mayor of Huntington Beach, California, has been a frequent critic of desalination proposals ever since she was appointed as a member of the California Desalination Task Force. Cook claims that in addition to being energy intensive, desalination schemes are very costly—often much more costly than desalination proponents claim. In her writing on the subject, Cook points to a long list of projects that have stalled or been aborted for financial or other reasons, and suggests that water-stressed regions would do better to focus on conservation or other water supply solutions than to invest in desalination plants.[24]

Solar energy based desalination[edit]

A novel approach to desalination is the Seawater Greenhouse which takes seawater and uses solar energy to desalinate it in conjunction with growing food crops in a specially adapted greenhouse.

Merge discussion[edit]

Merged two of three articles together. Opinions on whether Water Scarcity and Water security should still be merged or if they stand alone. I think the articles are fine separate, although some information can still be moved between the two articles.

-- Sidelight12 Talk 00:34, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

URLs in references[edit]

URLs in references must contain the website in which they came from. Incomplete URLs will not render correctly and cannot be accessed. — JJJ (say hello) 23:47, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

Revision Proposal[edit]

I am a student from Rice University in Houston, Tx, and am intending to revise this page as part of a class project Education Program:Rice University/Poverty, Justice, Human Capabilities Section 1 (Fall 2013). While searching Wikipedia for an article for my project, I noticed that the development of this Water scarcity article seemed to be partially incomplete with areas that could be improved upon. I have done a decent amount of research on this topic and would like to begin contributing to this article. My main goal for this article is to add substantial content along the realm of human capabilities, how water scarcity affects specific regions/societies, and how these regions/societies have attempted to cope and combat water stress and water scarcity. By addressing these topics I believe the new information provided could potentially aid readers searching for ways in which developments have been made in order to alleviate water stress, something that I thought was missing when reading the article. Additionally, the UN's Millennium Declaration addresses increasing the world's accessibility of clean water as one of their goals; I think it would be interesting to add a section documenting the progress that has been accomplished thus far. In my attempts to revise this article I also intend on reorganizing and revising some of the existing content. Many of the sections seem to outweigh the others and as I continue my research on the topic I hope to balance out the article. As there have not been many concerns addressed in the Talk Page, I am making this post to hopefully garner some support for my plans as well as acquire some thoughtful insight and suggestions. Hopefully, with some support, I will be able to help this page be taken up to a "Good article" rating. Please let me know any thoughts before I begin. AlecLH (talk) 01:43, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

Hi! @AlecLH You are doing a wonderful job with this article and I definitely think that you will get this article to receive the "Good Article" standing. I am very impressed with your knowledge on the matter as well as how clear and comprehensive your article is. I am also very impressed with the table that you worked on and provided.

My only suggestion for you would be to provide a bit more definitions and/or blue links for the more difficult or niche terms in your article. This will allow for a broader audience to understand your article. You are doing a great job with this article!! Finish up strong! Sessama7 (talk) 00:50, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

Peer Review[edit]

Once again, great job on the article. The only points that I have to give would be watching your references. There is the section under Water Stress that has facts and figures but no citations. Also, there is a place that says citation needed in your article that should probably be dealt with. One thing to keep in mind is that people may come to your article for specific info about one type of water scarcity so redefining in their individual sections would be incredibly helpful. Great job and keep up the good work! Gracieoribamise (talk) 04:57, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

California population[edit]

It seems to me the figures on California population growth are way off. California typically grows by half a million residents per year, not two million as the article states. -Tony — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:05, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

Comparison to other areas of charitable work[edit]

I was wondering whether further content might be added related to this topic. Many of the areas that have water problems also have problems with poor general education, high and rapidly increasing populations and, as a link between the two, poor standards of education for women. Several locations additionally habitually suffer from periodic droughts and famines and, arguably, the drilling of deep water wells and the resultant lowering of water tables will not help. Many developed countries mainly operate from the use of clean water reservoirs for the majority of their water supply and the use of means such as electricity consuming pumps in energy lacking locations must be questionable. One source for further background information is the David Attenborough documentary episode of Horizon, "How Many People Can Live on Planet Earth" which invests significant attention to the topic of water.

I have left similar content at WaterAid. GregKaye 10:58, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

The Water Crisis[edit]

Water, its life’s most basic need, but there is a water crises in our world right now, seriously! A crisis! Nearly one BILLION people live without clean drinking water, it’s happening all over the world especially in developing areas of sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia, and Latin America. It’s a water crisis because it starts with water, but water effects everything. Education, heath, poverty, and especially women and children. Let’s think of a family caught in the water crisis, it’s likely they live on less than a dollar a day. When they are thirsty they can’t just turn on the faucet for a nice cold glass of water, they don’t have a faucet. Instead the women and children go off to collect water, many walk up to three hours a day to the nearest swamp, pond, or river to gather water, that’s been sitting out in the open, exposed to all kinds of germs. Time spent gathering water, is time they can’t spend learning to read, write, earn an income, or take care of their family. Some women in sub-Saharan Africa spend more time collecting water than any other activity they do in the day. And the walk isn’t just hard, it’s dangerous. The women are alone, and burdened with 40 pounds of water. Many get hurt, sometimes they’re even attacked. When they make it home, the little water they have collected isn’t clean. Some families know their water is contaminated with germs that cause DIARRHEA, DEHYDRATION, or even DEATH, but what choice do they have? Kids especially babies are effected most by these germs. About every 19 seconds a mother loses one of her children to a water related illness, and each day almost a billion people are living this way. Until they get a little help. The water crisis is solvable, there are solutions. Some are brand new and innovative, like water filtration systems. Some are age old like drilled or hand dug wells. These solutions bring clean water much closer to the people who need it. A safe water project near a village restores hours each day to a person’s life. This time it’s opportunity, its freedom to go to school, and get an education, to work or start a business, to raise a family! Africa alone could save 40 billion hours each year. That’s the entire annual work force of France! Clean water means less disease, that’s less money spent on medicine, which means more money for books and school uniforms. And if the water project is built near a school, it can increase attendance, especially among young girls. The water crisis is vast, but we can solve it. Just $20 dollars can provide one person with accesses to a clean water project in there village, and this will mean more than clean water, because water changes everything. [25] — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hcps-figueroka (talkcontribs) 21:47, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^ Balancing water supply and wildlife Nature online 29 September 2010
  2. ^ a b c Hoevel, Ann (April 8, 2008). "Overpopulation could be people, planet problem". CNN. Retrieved 2010-07-20. 
  3. ^ a b "The Millennium Development Goals Report, 2008" (PDF). United Nations. 
  4. ^ Björn Lomborg (2001). The Skeptical Environmentalist (PDF). Cambridge University Press. p. 22. ISBN 0-521-01068-3. 
  5. ^ World Energy Outlook 2005: Middle East and North Africa Insights. International Energy Agency, Paris. 2005. 
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ "EJP | News | France | French-run water plant launched in Israel". 2005-12-28. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 
  8. ^ "Black & Veatch-Designed Desalination Plant Wins Global Water Distinction". 2006-05-04. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 
  9. ^ "Drought hopes hinge on desalination - World - NZ Herald News". 2006-11-01. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 
  10. ^ "Tamil Nadu / Chennai News : Two sites for desalination plant identified". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 2007-01-17. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Bermuda signs contract for seawater desalination plant". Caribbean Net News. 2007-01-20. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 
  13. ^ Applause, At Last, For Desalination Plant, The Tampa Tribune, December 22, 2007
  14. ^ Desalination gets a serious look, Las Vegas Sun, March 21, 2008
  15. ^ "Carlsbad Desalination Project". 2006-07-27. Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  16. ^ By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD and KIRK JOHNSON; Randal C. Archibold reported from Yuma, Ariz., and Kirk Johnson from Denver. (2007-04-04). "No Longer Waiting for Rain, an Arid West Takes Action". Western States (US); Utah; Arizona; California; Colorado; Nevada; New Mexico; Wyoming; Montana; Colorado River; Las Vegas (Nev); Yuma (Ariz): Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  17. ^ "Technology news and new technology highlights from New Scientist - New Scientist Tech - New Scientist". New Scientist Tech. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 
  18. ^ Desalination is the Solution to Water Shortages, redOrbit, May 2, 2008
  19. ^ Water, Water, Everywhere..., The Wall. St Journal, January 17, 2008
  20. ^ "100 Largest Desalination Plants Planned, in Construction, or in Operation—January 1, 2005" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  21. ^ Harris, Tom (2002-08-29). "How Aircraft Carriers Work". Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  22. ^ The Arid West—Where Water Is Scarce - Desalination—a Growing Watersupply Source, Library Index
  23. ^ A Rising Tide for New Desalinated Water Technologies, MSNBC, March. 17, 2009
  24. ^ Desalination: Unlocking Lessons from Yesterday’s Solution (part 1), Water Matters, January 17, 2009
  25. ^