Solutions to Water Issues

Though water covers 70% of the globe's surface, only 1% of it is usable. That 1% cache is rapidly dwindling worldwide, driven by population growth, industrialization and pollution that ruins fresh water. Our aquifers are being drained at alarming rates. By 2030, our blue planet will face a 40% global shortfall in water supply, according to the World Economic Forum. Global warming is also causing droughts and warming water temperatures are creating additional problems.

  • Blue-Green algae costs municipal water systems millions of dollars to treat in the United States alone.
    - In 2014 algae left 500,000 Ohio and Michigan residents without drinking water for several days in early August, 2014.

• Nearly 2 million people in California's Central Valley and the U.S. Midwest live within one-half mile of groundwater containing uranium that is over the health limits.

• The EPA estimates that mining has polluted at least 40 percent of stream reaches in the headwaters of western watersheds.

• Lead in Flint, Michigan has left now left 100,000 with water.

• Arsenic is a major problem in the U.S and 70 million people in Bangladesh have been exposed to water contaminated with naturally occurring arsenic in excess of WHO guidelines.

• Warmer weather and fertilizer runoff has enabled cyanobacteria to grow in northern waters previously too cold for their survival.

• Species first found in southern Europe in the 1930s now form blooms in northern Germany. Others have appeared in places as far north as Montana and throughout Canada.

• Fish and other aquatic animals and plants stand little chance against cyanobacteria. The algae crowds the surface water, shading out plants and fish food below.

• Fish generally avoid cyanobacteria, so they're left without food. And when the algae die they sink to the bottom where their decomposition can lead to extensive depletion of oxygen.

• In a report by the Chinese News Service, Jiao Yong, Vice Minister of Water Resources, said, "China has more than 400 cites short of water, some 110 of which are facing serious scarcity."

• According to the United Nations, though China is home to 21% of the world's population, it contains only 7% of the world's freshwater supplies.

• Three out of four of the jobs worldwide are water-dependent. In fact, water shortages and lack of access may limit economic growth in the years to come, according to the 2016 United Nations World Water Development Report, Water and Jobs, launched on 22 March 2016, World Water Day, in Geneva.

• World Resources Institute claims more than a billion people currently live in water-scarce regions, and as many as 3.5 billion could experience water scarcity by 2025.

AWE has numerous solutions for many of the World's water issues.