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"When the well's dry, we know the worth of water."


Benjamin Franklin

 

 

Introductory Biology for Non-Science Majors

Sustainability Topics

 

Water

"Although water covers much of the globe, over 95% is salt water - only 1% is fresh water available for human use."1 "Water use increased six-fold during the 20th Century, more than twice the rate of population growth."1 Water is removed from underground aquifers faster than they recharge. Globally, water is in very short supply and climate change will exacerbate shortages. "Water conservation is essential to sustainability for any large city."2 Even in Houston – a water rich region – water shortages are predicted by 2060.

  • 1.1 billion people, or 18 per cent of the world's population, lack access to safe drinking water. “About 2.6 billion people, or 42 per cent of the total, lack access to basic sanitation."3
  • "More than 2.2. million people, mostly in developing countries, die each year from diseases associated with poor water and sanitary conditions.” 4
  • Removing water from lakes and rivers has threatened biodiversity: "more than 20 per cent of the world's 10,000 known freshwater species have become extinct, threatened or endangered."3
  • "By 2060, Houston will require 3 billion gallons of water a year. We are going to have to reuse water and we are going to have to conserve. Water is not as plentiful as it use to be"2

 

References and Links

 

 

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Last updated or reviewed on 8/20/12

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