Monday, July 4, 2011
Victoria's Green Matters 6th July 2011
In large areas of the world people have no water in their homes at all. Usually, it is the women and children who have to walk miles each day to fetch water from a well. This water may not be clean and can cause illness and death from pollutants or disease. These nations are too poor to provide sanitation even when they have sufficient water.
In the Middle East and North Africa, a strange paradox exists. Many millions of people live in cities where there is little available water. Ancient aquifers are almost exhausted and fresh water must be imported from nations where there is a plentiful supply. Desalination is another option but this is an energy hungry process and at a time when oil prices are rising, and supplies dwindling, an expensive one. Food supplies are unsustainable to an ever-increasing world population. The effects of climate change have arrived some 20 years earlier than expected.
The need for water grows faster than the world’s population. China has been affected by appalling droughts, and unable to feed its growing population, has imported food grown in areas where water is plentiful. It has even bought land in wet areas to grow food for importation. Climate change will result in more moisture being evaporated in warmer air but this moisture will most likely fall in already wet areas rather than replenish supplies in dry areas.
In our country we are very lucky but we have a responsibility to treasure every drop of water as it falls, stop leaks as soon as possible and always think before we waste water.