Examiner.com offered a list of 25 reasons why water wars are likely to arise in the near future. Between climate change, and more importantly, human disregard for water, it’s quite likely conflict will erupt. In countries such as China and India, industry pollution and overpopulation are devastating the fresh water supplies. But the U.S. is not immune either as you can see from the list below.
Consider some of these water facts from the Examiner:
- According to the U.S. government, 36 U.S. states already face water shortages or will be within the next few years.
- According to U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. interior west is driest that it has been in 500 years
- The Ogallala Aquifer, a massive underground lake stretching from South Dakota to Texas, is rapidly drying up. The aquifer is believed to be the largest body of fresh water in the world, and right now, it is being drained at a rate of approximately 800 gallons per minute.
- An estimated 75 percent of surface water in India is now contaminated by human and agricultural waste.
- Every 8 seconds, somewhere in the world, a child dies from drinking dirty water.
- Worldwide demand for fresh water tripled during the last century, and is now doubling every 21 years.
Sadly, the Examiner’s water facts list isn’t complete. We’d like to add a few more water facts to the list:
- The Aral Sea, the world’s fourth largest lake, has nearly dried up due to cotton farming in the desert.
- In Texas this summer, the “exceptional” drought left cotton farmers with no choice but to let non-irrigated crops fail. You can see the drastic effects of the drought in the photo above by Jeff Attaway.
- In China, over 70 percent of the fresh water is polluted.
In last year’s Quadrennial Defense Review, the U.S. military sited water scarcity as a major concern. So, it’s not just environmentalists that are concerned about the declining access to fresh water. But, war is not inevitable, much of the problem is caused by corporate and governmental disregard for water as a precious resource. And we can influence companies and administrations to be better stewards of the world’s fresh water supplies.
Every day we read about drought, industrial pollution, and overpopulation taking a toll on the less than one percent of the fresh water available for human use on the planet. So, this list could be much longer. Which water facts would you add to this list? Feel free to post them in the comments below.
photo credit: Jeff Attaway Creative Commons