Water Resources

Why Water Conservation & Water Efficiency is Important

Water Efficiency | Conservation Solutions

Only 3% of water on earth is fresh water. 70% of the fresh water is locked up in ice caps and glaciers. Only 1% of the fresh water is surface water in lakes and rivers and many rivers no longer make it to the oceans, and if they do they are often polluted carry high levels of industrial, municipal and agricultural runoff that cause growing anaerobic “dead” zones in oceans. 29% of the fresh water comes from underground. Much of the groundwater is from fossil aquifers isolated geologically millions of years ago that don’t recharge. Water resources around the world are under stress. Fossil aquifers that don’t recharge are being depleted putting stresses on food supplies. Water and Sewer costs are rising as water resources are depleted and regulations to improve water quality are expanded as well as regulations to further reduce pollutants discharged into rivers from wastewater treatment plants.

Wastewater | Conservation Solutions

Fossil Aquifers are being over-pumped around the world, which is stressing world water supplies. Agriculture is the largest water user and more efficient irrigation improvements are critical to controlling these pumping rates. Industry also uses a significant amount of water especially for process and cooling. Chemicals that are used in cooling and some processes can be eliminated or significantly reduced by using state of the art technologies including electronic water treatment. Coal Power plants not only produce significant amounts of pollutants such as carbon dioxide (CO2), mercury, cadmium, arsenic, carbon monoxide, lead, sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), small airborne particles, but also use significant amounts of water. Transitioning to renewable energy as a power source will significantly reduce water use.

Aquifers | Conservation Solutions

Source: Nature - August 2012
As shown, the “footprint” (gray) represents how much water people are drawing from the aquifer, compared with how much the aquifer actually holds (in red, orange or yellow, depending on how bad the water imbalance is)

The best analogy is that we have a bucket of water that never gets refilled and we keep taking water out of the bucket – eventually the bucket will run dry.

Water Withdrawal | Conservation Solutions

Source: Le Monde diplomatique
Water stress is defined as having a high percentage of water withdrawal compared to total available water in the area

“Water promises to be to the 21st century what oil was to the 20th century - The precious commodity that determines the wealth of nations” Fortune Magazine
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