Living With Less Water 2022 – Part 2

Water shortages occur for a number of reasons. Those reasons are:

  • Drought
  • Water Contamination
  • Inadequate planning to meet demand
  • Shallow wells
  • Inadequate pumping equipment
  • Water Waste
  • Water outage due to loss of power or major service disruption

According to a country’s department for Health, there should be an emergency guide in place, which insures that clean water is available for the needs of its’ population during a water shortage. Is each and every country at this moment (July 13/22) prepared for the water shortages that their populace will soon be experiencing? I cannot say for sure. But I do know that many, like myself are slowly but surely living their life with less and less dependence on water. In March, 2018, the United Nations released a dire warning along with its’ World Water Development Report: if we do not change our ways more than five billion people could suffer serious to severe water shortages in 30 years (March 2048).

Not only are there more months of drought and water shortages in more and more countries but the water that is available for drinking, cooking and cleaning is contaminated. Chemicals and other debilitating germs can still enter water that has been treated. For example:

  • Fertilizers and pesticides
  • Feeding operations eg. large industrial animal farms
  • Sewer overflows
  • Storm water
  • Wildlife
  • Arsenic, radon, and uranium naturally occurring in rocks and soil
  • Inferior infrastructure eg. cracks in pipes used for water distribution systems
  • Germs found in tap water include norovirus, E.coli#0157, salmonella, Hepatitis A virus

Nairobi, Kenya – In 1990, over 90% of the population in urban areas of Kenya enjoyed access to clean water. The UN report for this year estimated that only 50% of Nairobi’s four and half million citizens have access to clean water. Many must resort to illegal connections to obtain water. Since 2017, Nairobi has been tied to a system of water rationing, where different areas of the city may have water on specific days of the week, and even on their days water may be available for only a few hours. Projects that included expanding local dam capacity were scheduled to be finished and working a decade ago but met with a lack of funds. According to WHO, the piped water now being dispensed as of July 2022, is undrinkable.

Industrial area in Nairobi / photo credit Lazarus Marston

It was in the year 2015, the same year that The National Academy of Sciences reported a list of American cities suffering from a lack of safe water, that Flint Michigan entered into a health crisis brought on by violated health standards put in place for cities serving a population of 21 million +. It was not the only city cited. Today in the year 2022, the crisis spotlight has focused on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona and New Mexico where radioactive waste has leached from uranium mines into water sources; then upon Lowndes County, Alabama where sewage pipes have leaked and contaminated the drinking water which in turn aggravated an outbreak of hookworm disease; it then shone upon Denmark, South Carolina, moving on to Newark, New Jersey both areas that have fallen far below the EPA safety levels. More on U.S. in Part 3 to follow.

What is happening is not an environmental problem only.

Up to date statistics list Hawaii as the number one state for air and water quality. Following in order are: Massachusetts, North Dakota, Virginia and Florida.

Communities in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador have had to live with ‘boil water advisories’ since 1994. In Ontario, where I live, the townships of Tiny and Tay, just north of Toronto can claim the purest water on the planet. Close by in Springfield, Ontario, the water contains five times less lead than frozen Arctic glaciers. Top three countries are: Brazil, Russia, and Canada. Note: Sao Paulo in Brazil experienced a water crisis in 2015 proving that not one country is exempt from the CRISIS that is warned for us all.

Monterrey, Mexico – is an industrial area. People there are never sure when they turn on their taps if water will flow. Residents are left without water for hours at a time. More and more often, water is unavailable for days. There is a drought there now (July 2022) which is affecting 60% of the entire country and what water they drink they must buy from the companies which sell it there. Due to a lack of water, 6000 people have been registered as missing. Out of the water available for use, 0.04% is allocated for domestic use and 0.6% is allowed for services. Quoting a member of the Ciudadanos Desconocidos group “The companies here haven’t had to alter their production and have no water restrictions. Meanwhile, we have to buy from them the water we do not have access to.”

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