Water Crisis and What We Will do to Solve It
A man walks into a restaurant and orders a hamburger and a glass of water. About ten minutes later, he gets his burger, but he does not get his water. He asks the owner of the restaurant what happened to his water. What was the owner's reply? There was no clean water.
There are many problems that face unclean water. Many countries and continents are affected by unsanitary water. These countries and continents are: India, Africa, South America... They do not get the clean and most importantly- sanitary- water as we do here in the United States. Those are 1.1 billion people who cannot drink the safe water we do. The water crisis looms above their heads as top priority. Factors that you do not even think are associated with the crisis are. They are civil wars, industrial impacts, the topography, and the weather.
The topography seems as good as it is spelled. It provides access to beautiful scenery and natural fortresses. It provided homes for the earliest of humans.These continents are literally surrounded by water. Yet, there is a problem with their topography. There are no bodies of water that can be located in the inside. That makes the landlocked countries in Africa or states in India have no access to clean ans sanitary drinking water. Another problem is that the rivers or lakes that are there are badly polluted. For example, take the Nile River that flows through Africa. People just throw their trash inside the rivers. Even mosquitoes carry around diseases that make people sick and die, such as the Nile Virus. Hygiene plays a big part in India's problem; ONLY 14% of the entire rural population has an access to a bathroom! Imagine not even having a toilet! It is the perfect way to spread germs! If we are to find safe drinking water, we must do something fast.
Another factor that leads to no safe drinking water is the weather. Weather... we have all heard it from somewhere. It is a nice gentle breeze floating through a unusually cool
Water Crisis (cont.)
summer day. Or it can be a violent, destructive tornado that whips through the Midwest ripping everything in its path. The fact that South America is located next to the ocean could be bad. Many hurricanes could be born there and they could reach the land. This would cause a large amount of devastation among the people who would live there/ It would cut off their clean water supply and pollute the water with oil spills. So you may be wondering why South Asia gets so much water and why there is still a problem. Overcrowding is one factor. Take the Ganges Rive for example. Imagine you were bathing in it, doing laundry in it, and drinking the water at the same time! That would be quite unsanitary, don't you think? This is why 5,000,000 people die because of water-related diseases. They do everything they can with water.
2/3 of our world is water. Water, Water, Water. Of that water, 2.5% of it is freshwater, and 97.5% of the water is saltwater. The catch is that, 74% of that 2.5% is found in the polar ice caps which is inaccessable. Most of the rest is under ground. Only .3% of the freshwater is for human use. In under 25 years, half of the population could have problems finding freshwater for irrigation and drinking. Most of the freshwater we use is not for bathing or drinking but for agriculture reasons. Most regions around the world are suffering from unclean water. The sanitation is horrible. The people do their business in the same water that they drink from. If you haven't noticed the children in, especially Africa, are dying rapidly. If you made it out of childhood than you are probably fine. You are fine because your immune system has been built up. However, kids with AIDS could die of something as simple as the cold, something you don't even think about. AIDS is passed through contaminated fluids, which brings us back to our problem. Another aspect that is critical is malaria. You remember the time when we had malaria. Why don't we have it anymore?
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The answer is screen doors and mosquito nets. Around the world, kids and adults are getting malaria from mosquitos.They don't have the modern screen doors like we do. It is vital that they have protection from mosquitos in their sleep. They don't know what is going on, if they got a bite from a mosquito at all. Thee screen doors protect them in the night from the pests.
It is suprising that countries are fighting over water. I mean that the United States of America were trying to overthrow a horrible dictator, Saddam Hussein. The US were trying to get a better leader to sell us their oil. Oil is a non-renewable resource that countries might fight for. India and Pakistan are fighting over WATER. In other words, India and Pakistan are fighting over a city called Kashmir. If India gets Kashmir, they might dam up the Indus river which supplies Pakistan with its water. China's southeast is getting plenty water. The northern part of China gets none. This is because it never rains up there. They are spending billions of dollars builing pipes to send water to the north part of China. And did you know that the water will run out faster than oil will? That's kind of creepy!
Dictators and poverty also cause problems in drinking water. Did you know that soon, 2/3 of the world will live in insanitary areas and poverty? This is projected to happen by 2025. Imagine that! We will be young adults. I will only be 28 when a good part of the world will be in slums, backstreets, and alleys begging for money... and water. Unstable governments and harsh rule also turn out to be a major issue. When dictators such as Robert Mugabe of Sudan posed harsh rule on the people of his country, many fled to places known as 'refugee camps'. The refugee camps offer a place for runaways-both adults and children. However, the camps are so insanitary that clean water for any purpose is not available. Imagine taking a bath in the water you drank from and used the toilet with!!!!
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However, these refugees know not what better life is like. That is the reason that viruses such as the Nile (transmitted by certain mosquitoes) are commonly found in areas with poverty. Agriculture and industrial issues also play a part. All the fertilizer and pesticides that farmers use to treat their crops wash up in the rain. They flow into the rivers (such as the Amazon) and the oceans, polluting the water many people drink. Factories throw chemicals and harmful items into the water, soon consumed by people YUCK!!!! Overcrowding has led to slums, where conditions are unsanitary. Mother Teresa was awarded th Nobel Peace Prize in her successes to help people in slums in India.
Now that you've heard all those problems, it's time to get down and do something about this madness. We've come up with some solutions to bring down this havoc once and for all.
It is hard to have one unified all-purpose solution. What we need to do is to start an organization called PAUW (People Against Unsanitary Water). The organization will run on both fundraisers and donations. We will send people to areas where water is not openly available. These people will help with advanced desalination in order to fix problems in Africa, where rivers do not provide enough water to some places. In Asia, we will mainly work on rainwater purifiers, as monsoons are common and many parts are tropical. In the desert, we will find aquifers to get sufficient, clean water from. We can also install dual flush toilets which have two types of flushes. One has less water and the other gives more water. This conserves water because different amounts of water are used to flush the waste. This will be used in South America where the toilets are very unclean in most of the countries there. PAUW will be a mostly voluntary organization; the reward is to feel good and proud about helping those less fortunate than us.
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Did you know that there are already some solutions out there? First of all, there is desalination. Desalination is a major part of drinking water. For example, water from the ocean (it is saltwater) can be desalinated by heating the water so that it evaporates and leaves the salt behind. However, this still leaves pollutants behind. A company you might be famliar with is LifeStraw. LifeStraw manafactures-you guessed it-straws. But these straws are very different from your average one. Imagine you lived in Africa. You are in your small village, and there is a water shortage in the well. But you see a small puddle of water! Of course, without some kind of purification, drinking water from here would be sure death. But here is what the LifeStraw does. It has a purification system in the straw, so most of the microbes and debris, such as dirt and clay, can be removed. In conclusion, the world needs to fix its water crisis problems.
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The rate of people who do not have access to safe drinking water is radically increasing. Many problems lead up to the same BIG problem. But, if we work together to solve this water crisis, then the world will be a better place. The nations of this planet need to do something about helping the world regain its only and clean drinking water. If you use our solutions that we created and the solutions that other people have come up with, then this major problem may come to an end. We have to give our all and be the cleverest we can be to end this. Let's put on our thinking caps and study up on our hydrology because we've got a whole load of water-related problems ahead of us that we have to solve!!!!!!!
Personal Interview- Mr. Cliff Roberts: May 1st, 2009
Personal Interview- Mr. Sridhar Ranganathan: May 4th, 2009