Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Clean water, a human right many will never experience

Kyle Ashmead in Digital Journal: World Water Day, a day of awareness for water and water issues around the globe. Climate change, pollution and misuse, are contaminating and depleting the worlds fresh water supplies... Many areas of the world are facing water shortages, shortages that are being compounded by pollution.

Early in 2011 the worlds human population is expected to reach 7 billion, most of the world’s population growth is happening in developing nations. Many are located in areas that are very dry, areas that are already facing water shortages. Increasing populations are likely to stretch limited water resources to the breaking point.

Many climate scientists believe that as climate change becomes more severe, areas that are dry are going to be facing worse droughts. But droughts are not the only thing that can destroy crops, hurricanes and floods also cause food shortages. Scientists believe climate change will cause extremely harsh weather patterns, as the Earths increasing temperatures and melt water from the polar ice caps disrupt the oceans currents.

A large portion of the world’s available fresh water is used in agriculture; in some dry regions over 70% of water usage is for agriculture. Large commercial farms can also have a very harmful impact on our water. Chemical application to crops and animal wastes contaminate ground and surface water. Both types of pollution have adverse affects on human health….

Pivot irrigation for a cotton field, USDA photo

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