Environment

The level of the Dead Sea has plummeted more than 10 meters this century.[i]

The big and important rivers the Nile, the Indus in Pakistan, the Yellow River and the sacred Cauvery River of southern India, and also the minor rivers Jordan and Orontes are all drying up.[ii]

Lake Chad is shrinking at a rate of nearly 100 meters a year.[iii]

Salt-water lakes are much more precarious than freshwater ones, are more sensitive to long-term climate changes, and can easily be catastrophically disrupted. [iv]

There is a case in the United States where Idaho wanted to seed clouds over the Grand Tetons so that the snow pack on the mountain ranges’ west side would be improved. This would create excessive runoff on the east side of the mountain slopes and overload local dams in Wyoming, so that the officials would not allow this seeding of clouds. Cloud seeding has become a phenomenon where the ownership of the clouds is contested.[v]

In national terms, Brazil has the most water, containing one-fifth of all global resources.[vi]

China and Canada has virtually identical resources, but China’s population is thirty times greater.[vii]

Because the plastic in water bottles is not renewable, it creates major environmental problems. Hundreds of millions of tons of plastic are thrown in the ocean and this creates landfills in the oceans twice the size of Texas.[viii]

In millions of hectares of Northern China, the water table is dropping at a rate of 1 metre a year. Irrigation – and its wasteful runoff – is blamed. Beijing can now only supply itself by diverting water from farmers, who give up farming and retreat to the cities – adding to the water demand there.[ix]

The amount of water the human race use during a year is the same amount that flows through the Amazon each year.[x]

In the Punjab and in Bangladesh, there is a flooding almost every year; the rate of drop in the water table is even faster than in China. Too many people, too little retained water.[xi]

The once fourth largest lake in the world, the Aral Sea, located in the former Soviet Union, has in the last decades lost 80 per cent of its volume and what is left is ten times saltier than what it was before.[xii]

In 1986 more than a million fish died in a catastrophe in Switzerland where more than 30 tons of poisons leaked into the Rhine, Europe’s most important waterway.[xiii]

In Finland, a large number of lakes are privately owned, but collectively managed, favoring user rights and securing the fishing opportunities for the people. [xiv]

Bibliography


[i] De Villiers, Marq (1999): Water Wars: Is the World’s Water Running Out?. London: Butler and Tanner Ltd
[ii] Allan, Tony (2011): Virtual Water: tackling the threat to our planet’s most precious resource. London: I. B. Tauris & Co. Ltd
[iii] De Villiers, Marq (1999): Water Wars: Is the World’s Water Running Out?. London: Butler and Tanner Ltd
[iv] De Villiers, Marq (1999): Water Wars: Is the World’s Water Running Out?. London: Butler and Tanner Ltd
[v] Ward, Diane Raines (2002): Water Wars: Drought, Flood, Folly, and the Politics of Thirst. New York: Riverhead Books
[vi] De Villiers, Marq (1999): Water Wars: Is the World’s Water Running Out?. London: Butler and Tanner Ltd
[vii] De Villiers, Marq (1999): Water Wars: Is the World’s Water Running Out?. London: Butler and Tanner Ltd
[viii] http://www.slideshare.net/JeffBennett/plastic-bottles-ocean-pollution-draft-1401540 and http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/water/bottled/bottled-water-bad-for-people-and-the-environment/
[ix] De Villiers, Marq (1999): Water Wars: Is the World’s Water Running Out?. London: Butler and Tanner Ltd
[x]Allan, Tony (2011): Virtual Water: tackling the threat to our planet’s most precious resource. London: I. B. Tauris & Co. Ltd
[xi] De Villiers, Marq (1999): Water Wars: Is the World’s Water Running Out?. London: Butler and Tanner Ltd
[xii] Barlow, Maude and Tony Clarke (2002): Blue Gold: The Battle Against Corporate Theft of the World’s Water. London: Earthscan Publications Ltd
[xiii] De Villiers, Marq (1999): Water Wars: Is the World’s Water Running Out?. London: Butler and Tanner Ltd
[xiv] Salmi, P and Muje, K. (2008): “Local owner-based management of Finnish lake fisheries: social dimensions and power relations”, Fisheries Management and Ecology, Vol. 8, No. 4 – 5, pp. 435 – 442

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