How to provide the population with clean water
Ways of minimizing risks of water deficiency
A deficit of fresh water is a problem that has been familiar to humanity since ancient times. Starting from the last decades of the past century, this issue has been regarded by scientists as a global problem. The planet’s population is constantly increasing, and at the same time the scale of water consumption is increasing. How can the inhabitants of the Earth be provided with clean water? This article will help to answer this question.
Causes of the water deficit
Every sixth person on the planet faces a shortage of water. The following factors have led to this:
• development of urbanization;
• the increase in the world’s population;
• acceleration of global changes to the climate;
• a worsening of the ecological situation;
• an increased need for using water in industry.
Providing water for the world’s population
The world ocean accounts for 96% of the water mass of the planet. Fresh water supplies make up just 4% of total water supplies. At the same time, drinking water is distributed very unevenly throughout the continents and countries of the world – this has affected the ability for humanity to survive in different parts of the planet, and the quality of people’s lives.
Fresh water, without which life is impossible, is an invaluable resource for humanity, and both poor and developed countries are equal when faced with a deficit of it.
What a lack of water leads to
One fifth of the world’s population lives in regions with a severe shortage of fresh water. One quarter of the world’s population lives in developing countries which face a shortage of drinking water because of the lack of infrastructure and the impossibility of collecting water from fresh bodies of water.
Consequences of a shortage of drinking water:
• it becomes impossible to observe rules of hygiene;
• diseases develop;
• living conditions worsen;
Solving the problem of the water deficit
To provide people with clean water, a series of measures are required.
1. Supplying water to populated areas directly depends on the quality and state of water pipeline systems. Old pipes pollute thousands of cubic meters of clean water. Scientists and engineers are developing projects for new improved water pipeline systems. Nanofibers and nanopipes made on a carbon base are used to make them. Factories constantly install pipes of highly durable cast iron with a special graphite structure which prevents water pollution.
2. To preserve supplies of clean water, we must fulfill out the accepted world environmental regulations. People will not abandon the majority of plants of chemical, heavy and light industry, but these plants must use modern cleaning systems to minimize the risk of polluting the environment with waste.
3. Part of the natural infrastructure is the forests of the planet, which hold and protect water. For this reason, it is rational to build reserves with drinking water in forest areas. Forests also regulate the level of ground waters and stop soil erosion, and reduce the consequences of floods. The USA, Singapore, South Africa and Spain take a large amount of drinking water from forest zones – this experience should be adopted by other nations.
4. A purification program will help to preserve supplies of drinking water. There are two methods of decontaminating harmful mixtures. The chemical method is used increasingly rarely in developed countries, and the physical method of water purification is employed instead with special membrane technologies. For example, in Japan rain water is used, which is sterilized by ozonization. There are also simple ways to obtain pure water at home — click here to see these methods.
Supplies of clean water are constantly decreasing. Studies confirm that in 2025 the majority of the world’s countries will experience a deficit of drinking water, or face a severe shortage of the resource. In 2030 the threat of a water deficit will affect 47% of the world’s population. By 2050 the population of developing countries where there is already a severe shortage of fresh water will increase significantly, aggravating the problem.
The first to face a deficit of fresh water will be the populations of South Asia, Africa, North Korea and the Middle East. The complex ecological situation will lead to the migration of 24 to 700 million people. Urgent measures aimed at purifying water and preserving water resources will help to solve this problem.