Is it possible for us to run out of fresh water? Of course not, it is in a perpetual cycle right? Like we learned at school? Unfortunately not.
Yes the Earth is covered with the blue stuff – but sadly 97% of it is salt water. A tiny 3% is fresh and drinkable, and this figure is diminishing. The water in our cycle is being destroyed – poisoned, polluted and lost at a rate that would make your head spin.
The documentary on this link describes water as ‘Blue Gold’ and analyses the World Water Wars that are raging across the Globe each day. It discusses the political motives that have seen water become a commodity in recent history, rather than a standard human right.
We know that our ground water supply is polluted by run off from agriculture, contamination with human sewage, exhaust fumes and emissions from industry, which is addicted to fossil fuels. But when we consider this in the context of fresh water as a finite resource, this knowledge becomes far more of a worry.
We are depending on ground water more than ever, pumping billions of gallons every single day. This is especially foolish when we do not know with any accuracy how much water is actually beneath us. On an ecological level, this incessant plundering of the ground water is changing the planet’s plate tectonics. The Earth’s land masses are becoming lighter as water is removed, and the ocean floors are becoming heavier. This leaves us vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis, and is also responsible for sink holes and subsidence of whole cities.
The Earth is extremely resilient, but the water is being pumped out at a rate that is nowhere near the amount being replenished, especially when the rain that is falling is not given a chance to seep back through to the ground water supply. There are a number of factors contributing to the loss of rain, which is simply running straight into the sea.
Deforestation is a big cause of water loss. With no thirsty tree roots, the soil loses the ability to hold water. Soil actually erodes, becoming harder, losing precious millimetres, which is infertile and just blows away. We are becoming more urbanised, the vast areas of hardscape of not allow water to permeate like the rural spaces. Instead, rain is captured in drains and whisked away through the sewage system to the sea. Enormous hydrodams are also contributing to the problem, as while the water is trapped, rivers are interrupted and choked. The dry river beds become arid soil, which erodes, where there used to be a vein of water feeding nutrients and oxygen to the land. While it sits stagnant in the reservoirs, water loses the nutrients that it held. By damming the rivers we are literally choking the life blood of the earth.
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