Water reserves are not inexhaustible even though water is everywhere around us
Water reserves are not inexhaustible, although water is present everywhere around us. Futurologists even predict that wars will be fought in the world over water. The old Roman saying “that water should not be sold to a thirsty person” is well known, although today this saying is slowly disappearing. Water is apparently present in various forms around us. It exists in nature and circulates continuously. Water is available to all and water seems to be abundant. However, water is already more expensive than oil and gold in some parts of the world. That is why it is no longer considered that water supplies are inexhaustible.
The total amount of water on Earth is slightly more than a quadrillion tons – according to estimates (but 97% of the total amount of water is sea water). The remaining 3% is fresh water (2.25% are glaciers, and a large part is deep in the earth’s crust, so it is inaccessible to humans). A certain percentage is also in the atmosphere, there is water in the form of moisture in the soil, and only 0.0001% is in rivers. Even more than 1.2 billion people today do not have access to drinking water, more than 2.5 billion people do not have basic sanitary conditions, and more than 5 million people die annually from diseases caused by polluted water. These facts lead futurists to new predictions about about 300 potential water-related war hotspots.
Water is the first and most important human need.
On average, a person can last up to 26 days without food and a maximum of 7 days without water. Water makes up about 70% of a person’s body weight. A person loses water through urination, sweating and breathing. Dehydration occurs (drying of the skin, sudden weight loss and eventually death) if this loss is not compensated.
Drinking water is not an endless available resource. We should behave responsibly and rationally towards sources of drinking water. Wastewater should be discharged into rivers after processing. It is believed that the main reason for the disappearance of drinking water sources is uncontrolled deforestation. Salvation lies in planned afforestation, surface reservoirs, small dams and protection of water sources. Groundwater pollution is a big problem. Pollution is partly caused by agriculture (due to the use of artificial fertilizers and wastewater from rural settlements). Landfills are also a problem because every waste sooner or later reaches the groundwater, polluting it. The poor condition of the water is sometimes also threatened by outdated technologies in factories.
Official data says:
- as many as 6,000 people die from diarrhea every day
-water consumption has doubled since 1950
- the amount of polluted water is greater than in the basins of the world’s 10 largest rivers
The United Nations has been pointing out for decades that the world is facing a water supply crisis due to a lack of political will. They warn of the possibility that in the middle of the 21st century (this century) as many as 7 billion people will be faced with a lack of water if urgent measures are not taken. UN forecasts are also worrying due to the fact that 6,000 children under the age of 5 die every day from diseases caused by polluted water. Water sources are constantly decreasing due to population growth, pollution and climate change. Thus, the average amount of water (that people would have at their disposal) could be a third less – already in the next few decades.
The main item is wastewater treatment.
6 million tons of waste are thrown into rivers, waterways and lakes every day. Otherwise, most of the available drinking water is used for crop irrigation and food production. This water could be saved if treated wastewater is used for irrigation – explained the UN.
World Water Day is celebrated on March 22 every year since 1993. Thus, from 2005-2015, the UN General Assembly declared a period of action under the slogan “Water for Life” with the goal of reducing to half the percentage of those who do not have access to safe drinking water. Such actions are still carried out today. The goal is always the same water saving and water protection in the best possible and available ways – for new generations.
It is considered that Finland, Canada, New Zealand, Great Britain, Japan, Norway, Russia, South Korea, Sweden, France have the best quality water in the world according to the quality of the water they have and the ability to improve the situation.
UN 2023 Water Conference22 — 24 Mar 2023, New York