71 percent of our planet is covered with water, but 97 percent of it is in the oceans as salty water, and cannot be used as drinking water without being desalinated.
The remaining 3 percent is freshwater, but 77 percent of it is bound in polar icecaps and glaciers, and is accessible just for a few tens of thousand people. The freshwater from the glaciers is only available as meltwater.
Over 22 percent of the remaining freshwater is grundwater, it must be pumped up and in many cases filtered to be drinkable.
Less than one percent of the freshwater is the water we see in lakes and rivers.
We in the western developed world take water from granted, and treat it as such. Many of us let the water run from the tap when we do the 3 minute toothbrush, two times a day. An amouont of freshwater that is precious in other parts of the world. When we answer a call of nature, to the average of 5 times a day, about 3 gallons or 12 liter of water is flushed down each time, about 15 gallons or 60 litres of fresh clean drinkingwater for our lavatory needs.
60 litres could keep a person with water for 20 days in the desert areas of the world.
Think about all the water that is uses for watering golf greens in dry areas of the world. Instead of desert landscaping, many is watering lawns in high desert areas. Think about the evaporation of freshwater from swimming pools, in itself an enormous amount of water.
Few of us in the western developed world think about what a immense luxury it is to pour ourself a glass of clean drinkingwater from the tap.
Will oceanwater desalination plants soon be as important as oil processing plants? Will it be mandatory to use rainwater to flushing lavatories? Will water saving lavatories be the law?
Would any of this be enough in the future with the rapidly growing population and its demand for freshwater? Will water be piped from nations with plenty of freshwater to nations that have not?
When each of us in the western developed save water, it would not mean that that the same amount will sprout up from the ground in the desert areas of the world of course.
But distrubution of water from those who have to those who have not will be the most pressing issue on the agenda for most nations in the future.
Edited by Nordmann61, 17 August 2010 - 07:39 PM.