The famous lines from Samuel Taylor Coleridge described the plight of sailors on the ocean. AlthoughJ 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by water, this water is undrinkable. uly has been declred Smart Irrication Month by the Irrigation Association. I approve. Wasting water is not a good thing, especially ars we are in a global water crisis.
As stated above, about 2.5% of the Earth’s water is freshwater. Of the fresh water available on earth, only 31% is accessible for use. About 69% of the fresh water is in form of ice cap and glacier in places like the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheet, further reducing the quantity of the available drinking water. So, if only 31% of the fresh water is available for drinking, this means 31% of 2.5%=0.00775, which equates to less than 1%. Therefore, less than 1% of the earth’s water is drinkable. In some areas, the glacier often melts in summer to provide additional drinking water. However, the amount of water from glacier melt is not sufficient to increase the available fresh water to above 1%.
Although surface water is an important source of drinkable water, surface water depends on several variable precipitation patterns, which makes it unreliable. Protecting and managing the underground and surface water is an essential task in ensuring availability of drinkable water. No one can create more water. But, by managing the water sources and distribution systems, people maximize the available water and make good use out of every drop.
10 Facts About the World Water Crisis
- 748 million people around the world are without basic water access. That’s more than twice the population of the United States.
- More people die from unsafe water than from all forms of violence, including war.
- Two billion people, or about 1 in 4, lack access to a toilet or latrine.
- Diarrheal diseases, caused primarily by unsafe water and poor sanitation, kill more children under 5 years old than malaria, AIDS, and measles combined.
- Diarrheal disease kills one child every 60 seconds.
- About a quarter (22%) of health facilities in Least Developed Countries have no safe water.
- In sub-Saharan Africa, women and girls spend an estimated 40 billions hours a year collecting water.
- An estimated 400 million school days are lost each year due to water-related diseases, with 272 million lost to diarrhea alone.
- Lost time gathering water significantly reduces productive farming time for women in parts of the developing world. With safe water nearby, it’s estimated that women could feed 150 million of the world’s hungry.
- For every $1 invested in safe water and sanitation, a yield of $5 to $28 USD is returned in increased economic activity and reduced health care costs. Access to safe water stimulates the economy for the long-term.