by Asinus Asinum Fricat
Mon May 19th, 2008 at 05:23:11 PM EST
People use lots of water for drinking, cooking and washing, but even more for producing things such as food, paper, cotton clothes, etc. The water footprint of an individual, business or nation is defined as the total volume of freshwater that is used to produce the goods and services consumed by the individual, business or nation. Now you too can figure out your water footprint using the calculator at waterfootprint.org. Additionally, they have a gallery of commonly consumed products and how much water it takes to produce them and case studies of water footprints of specific countries like China and Israel.
Remember, water conservation is essential.
Water in numbers:
1% is the amount of the world's water currently fit for human consumption.
97% is the percentage of Earth's water that is saltwater.
6% is the amount of world's freshwater that will be processed in desalination facilities by 2015, (which is roughly double of the current amount)
2 billion is the number of people the UN estimates will lack sufficient water by 2050.
Rescuers reach epicenter of China quake:
China - The first rescue teams arrived at the epicenter of China's worst earthquake in modern times, scouring the rubble of mountain villages in Sichuan Province for survivors and airlifting emergency supplies to them. Makeshift aid stations and refugee centers are springing up across the vast region, where hospitals were leveled and survivors must be treated in the streets. In the city of Yingxiu in Wenchuan County, only 2300 out of 10,000 residents were left alive. Source
New Measures Against Water Waste:
Yemen - The Yemeni government recently signed new laws against water waste throughout the country. This includes not only monitoring the quality of potable water in certain areas but also the depth of new wells. Source
Iran allocates $163m emergency fund for drought:
Iran - In Tehran, Iran's Deputy Energy Minister for Water and Wastewater Affairs, Rasoul Zargar, announced that the government had budgeted the equivalent of $163 million U.S. to implement emergency plans in case of a devastating drought. Source
Huge project to restore Everglades to be suspended:
Florida - The construction of a 25-square-mile reservoir designed to help restore water flows in Florida's Everglades wetlands is on hold due to a lawsuit. The vast basin was scheduled for completion in 2010 and is intended to store rainwater that would normally be diverted into the sea to prevent flooding. When the wetlands need replenishing, the water will channeled from the reservoir. The Natural Resources Defense Council is suing the South Florida Water Management District, not to stop construction, but to get a legal commitment from the state to use at least 80% of the stored water for environmental restoration. Source
Laws passed to regulate recycled water:
Australia - In Brisbane, capital of Queensland, Australia, Parliament passed legislation to regulate the safety of drinking water and the addition of recycled wastewater to the supply. Queensland Health will set quality standards and the Department of Natural Resources will be responsible for ensuring that those standards are maintained. Source
My favorite: Wind to fuel Sydney's desal plant
Australia - The desalination plant under construction near Sydney, New South Wales, Australia will be powered by wind, announced Premier Morris Iemma, who called it Australia's biggest-ever "green energy" contract. The Capital Wind Farm, run by the firm of Babcock and Brown, is under construction in Bungendore and will be operational by 2010. Source
Ways of Ancient Mexico Reviving Barren Lands:
Mexico - Jesus Leon Santos, a Mixtec Indian from San Isidro Tilantongo in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, helped to found the Center for Integral Campesino Development of the Mixteca, or CEDICAM, to revive pre-Hispanic farming practices and the economy of his barren region. Source
Cote d'Ivoire: Waste management - The residents of Abidjan exposed to real dangers:
COTE D'IVOIRE - A four-day international workshop on waste management in West Africa opened on 12 May in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, at the Abobo-Adjame University. Delegates from 12 African countries, Germany, and Belgium are discussing the creation of research and training programs in environmental engineering at African universities and how to improve the collection and treatment of wastes. Source
More research on climate change and water supplies needed, UA climate scientist tells Congress:
Washington, D.C. - Professor Jonathan Overpeck, director of the University of Arizona's Institute for the Study of Planet Earth in Tucson, Arizona, told the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, DC that because water supplies and climate change are so closely linked, allocating more money for research on both topics is essential. Source