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.
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.
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