12 October 2009

Are we running out of water?

WaterOver two billion people do not have adequate water to address basic sanitation needs (according to the World Health Organization/UNICEF report, “Meeting the MDG drinking water and sanitation target: the urban and rural challenge of the decade,” Global Water Supply and Sanitation Assessment, [World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund, 2006].)

    Here are three questions:
  1. Do you know how much water it takes to put a pound of beef on the table?
  2. Is there much difference in the water content between a cup of coffee and/or a cup of tea?
  3. How many people don't have access to clean drinking water?
answers below

In the United States and elsewhere a number of local governments now rely on "privatized" water systems.  The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy [IATP] has produced a map and a report on the impact of water privatization in the U.S.  Links to those documents and other related materials can be found at "Helping Local Communities Thrive" at the henoticworld blog.

Water "Remunicipalization"

Nonetheless, some communities have insisted on returning water and sewage treatment services to public management -- "remunicipalization" -- forcing water multinationals to pull services out of communities world-wide. Do you know how many communities in your state are buying their water from for-profit multi-national corporations?  Is it the end of water as we know it? I know this: it's enough to make Lewis Black curse. (The following clip contains strong language that may not be appropriate for some readers.)

The answers:

  1. It requires 1500 gallons to raise and deliver a pound of beef to your kitchen (over six times more than a pound of chicken!)
  2. It takes roughly 4 times as much water to make a cup of coffee compared to a cup of tea.
  3. Over 1 billion people do NOT have access to clean drinking water.
Share on Facebook

No comments: