Global water demand is expected to exceed supplies by 40 percent by the year 2030. Moreover, large corporations are not using advanced tools available to manage water use.
These are findings in a recent study by Ecolab and GreenBiz Group.
To help address them, Ecolab has opened “Water University,” with the idea of training thousands of customers and employees on ways to dramatically cut water use by 2020.
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In a potato field near the Netherlands' border with Belgium, Dutch farmer Jacob van den Borne is seated in the cabin of an immense harvester before an instrument panel worthy of the starship Enterprise.
From his perch 10 feet above the ground, he's monitoring two drones--a driverless tractor roaming the fields and a quadcopter in the air--that provide detailed readings on soil chemistry, water content, nutrients, and growth, measuring the progress of every plant down to the individual potato.
“It’s very clear to me that traditional, industrial agriculture has no real interest in taking the steps that are necessary to radically change their operations in a way that will protect our drinking water,” said Bill Stowe, the chief executive of Des Moines Water Works. High nitrate runoff, which can result from nitrogen-rich soil and applied fertilizer, places Des Moines’s drinking water in danger of violating federal quality standards, Mr. Stowe said, and increases costs and poses health risks for customers.
Read more here: nyti.ms/2jCA0ta
Clean water is essential for life, but most people in the developed world don't think much about the water they use for drinking, food preparation, and sanitation. In developing nations, however, the search for safe drinking water can be a daily crisis. Millions of people die each year, most of them children, from largely preventable diseases caused by a lack of access to clean water and proper sanitation.
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During California’s long drought, public officials urged residents to cut back on water usage and imposed temporary bill surcharges to discourage consumption.
Consumers and businesses responded by reducing water consumption an average of 22 percent statewide from June 2015 to January 2017.
Now their reward will be higher water rates.
TOWN OF OASIS, Wis. — Cris Van Houten thought he was getting a little bit of paradise when he built his house on Huron Lake in Wisconsin's central sands region. He could look out from his deck at the blue water and scuba dive in the shallows.
Less than 10 years later, he and his neighbors are watching their beloved lake dry up. The shoreline has receded at least 20 feet, leaving Van Houten with a new beach he never wanted, his dock high and dry, and scuba diving impossible.
I believe that everyone in the world should have access to clean water. It is for this reason that I volunteered with the not for profit organization Wine to Water. Over the past ten years, this non-government organization has provided over 600,000 people with daily access to clean water. Wine to Water was started in 2004 by Doc Hendley, a bartender, from North Carolina. Doc was nominated as a CNN hero of the year in 2009. Read more about Doc here.
In 2015, Nepal was hit by a devastating earthquake that killed thousands of people. Professors at Appalachia State University, with close connections to the region, contacted Wine to Water and asked for help. Wine to Water has been on the ground in Nepal since that call and it is here where I volunteered for two weeks to help bring clean water to these people.
A group of 18 volunteers ranging in age from 18 to over 50 (I was the over 50) helped with a water project in the town of Dahakhani in an area near the foothills of the Chitwan Jungle. The town has 160 families with a population approaching 1,000. Villagers must travel a great distance to reach an existing water system which is nothing more than a concrete slab where a gravity fed water pipe can be turned on. This water then has to be carried back to the village to feed animals, water crops, cook, clean etc. The project my group started will collect water from a natural mountain spring, located approximately two miles up the foothills from the town center. We split into two groups and my group started work on the water collection dam. We excavated and built a rock and concrete dam that will collect the water that will be gravity piped to the village of Dahakhani. The second half of our group excavated a sedimentation tank on the side of a cliff that will allow the water to pause for one hour before it travels to the reserve tank closer to the village; any sediment from the water will collect at the bottom of the tank. This system will provide year round water to the village at the rate of .75 liters of water per second. There will be a 20k liter holding tank to store the water and the access will increase from nine points of access to 34 points of access or about one source of water for every five dwellings.
Homes in Dahakhani do not have running water or water in the latrines. The school, with over 200 children, has three latrines and no water access. The children have no water to wash their hands. I was told that over 80% of illness in Nepal could be eliminated with clean water for proper hand washing and hygiene.
We worked shoulder to shoulder with those from the village; clearing rocks with pick axes and crushing rocks too large to move with a sledge hammer, mixing cement and laying the foundation for the dam. One particularly impactful event occurred carrying all of the sand and concrete up the mountain. It took me an hour to cover this distance with nothing more than my backpack and water bottles. Yet, it was the village women who transported the sand and gravel up the steep incline in flip flops for shoes. These bags of concrete weighed as much as 50 KG or 110 pounds. I would not be able to carry what amounted to my body weight across rock stream beds and steep inclines and yet these women did it repeatedly.
The families in Dahakhani have left a lasting impression. Their greeting and welcome ceremony when we first arrived was heartfelt and emotional. We take for granted the fact that water is just a turn of a faucet for both hot and cold running water. This month National Geographic reported that everyday women and children spend a collective 125 millions hours gathering water. Imagine how life would change if you had to walk over an hour to collect your water for the day. Water weighs 7 pounds per gallon. This must be why the women in Dahakhani are capable of carrying heavy loads on their backs; it is literally back breaking work.
It was rewarding to work with the Nepalese and it was fun to work with the younger volunteers from Wine to Water. I feel that we put a small drop in the bucket to help the men, women and children near the foothills in Southern Nepal. There is no life without water.
I wanted to share something personal with you that I’m excited about.
I have a personal desire to do all that I possibly can to solve the world’s water crisis. Twenty percent of the population of our planet goes to bed every night either thirsty or sick because of unclean water. My part may just be a “drop in the bucket”, but I believe with the efforts of millions of others who share my same passion, the bucket will get wetter each day.
I am a part of a relief team from Wine to Water that will be bringing clean water to the remote village of Dahakhani in the foothills of northern Chitwan. One of the reasons that the need is so dire in Dahakhani is due to a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the region in April of 2015. Thousands were killed and millions displaced in the region due to the massive landslides that destroyed many of the rural villages. The earthquake shifted the water table in many areas, causing natural springs and well systems to dry up or considerably reduce their production. Half the population in this area survives on roughly $1 per day.
I plan to make updates daily of the relief work we’ll be doing with the Dahakhani people.
Thank you for your interest. I hope you will allow me to take you along on this journey through the virtual capabilities of the internet.
The Ogallala aquifer turned the region into America's breadbasket. Now it, and a way of life, are being drained away.
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