Water Crisis

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In the class we mentioned 19 proposed strategies to the water crisis problem. Select a specific site (area, city, county, ..etc in the US or international) of your choice and describe it’s current water profile/problem, then identify top three strategies that can work effectively in the site that you identified. The suggested strategy will depend on many factors such as the level of education, the public’s reorientation, the type of resources, the availability of technology, the current state/quality of main water resource, the local governance…etc) Explain why did you choose these three strategies.

24 thoughts on “Water Crisis

  1. Domestic water supplies are one of the fundamental requirements for human life. Providing stable freshwater supplies is a priority for every country in the world, because the water is used for consumption, hygiene, and amenity use. For example, consumption is mainly for drinking and cooking, hygiene includes basic needs for personal and domestic cleanliness, and amenity use is for car washing and lawn watering.

    World Resources Institute’s Aqueduct project, researched in 2003, valuated, mapped, and scored water risks. They found that 36 countries face “extremely high” levels of baseline water stress, which means that more than 80 percent of the water available to agricultural, domestic, and industrial users is withdrawn to scarcity. Out of 36 countries, Singapore has one of the highest rates of water stress. Singapore is a small country of only 4.6 million people with limited water resources, which means the country is densely populated and has no freshwater lakes or aquifers, and its demand for water far exceeds its naturally occurring supply. As for the solutions to water crisis, Singapore has been focused on developing a major national water projects such as recycle wastewater, developing and enacting better policies and regulations, and improving water catchment. I chose these strategies as the top three that will keep the country to avoid lacking from water freshwater, in long term. First, to recycle the wastewater, Singapore construct plants that are called NEWater, which treats high-grade used water that is converted and made suitable for drinking and industrial use by using advanced technologies. These plants allow country to produce potable water. Second, Singapore and Malaysia made a Johor River Water Agreement in 1961, which is valid until 2061. In this agreement, Singapore agreed to provide Johor with a daily supply of treated water with the raw water supplied from Johor. And yet, Singapore continues to import water from Johor under the agreements. Last, improving local catchment facilities by investing technology is also important so solve a water crisis. The technology that processes that shift brackish rainwater to seawater desalination is estimated, as this will increase water catchment by up to 90 percent in the long term.

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    • Water
      Water is essential for anyone without it we cannot survive and have a healthy and sustainable communities. Water supply has been very low in the latest years due to a heavy drought in California research has shown that Climate change is playing role in this.
      I have lived in a community that has had many water shortages throughout the years due to its location. La Honda California is located in southern San Mateo County near the Santa Cruz Mountains. This Tiny town has a population of 928 people. The Town of La Honda has very wealthy neighbors Portola Valley and Palo Alto it is located about 45 minutes drive from Stanford University. The area is surrounded by tall trees and greenery. This makes the town a very rural and beautiful area to live in. I have lived in this tiny town and faced many issues due to water shortages. Any water that you consume in your house comes from underground meaning the water has sediment and is not perfectly clean . The town gets all of its water from Underground pumps in well systems but the majority of residents buy water from local or nearby cities like Half Moon Bay. The town relies on rainwater every year to fill wells that can replenish the well systems and homes throughout the year. La Honda can benefit from three main strategies: Price water accordingly , Recycle waste water and invent new water technology that can help with the lack of water in recent years due to climate change.
      La Honda needs to price water accordingly this will help in the reduction of consumption. The area has huge mansions as well as small cottages if the town gets more money from taxes from bigger properties and distributes those resources to small cabins around the area. This will help residents that have no resources to purchase additional water since the majority of residents must do throughout the year. Recycling waste water is a great option for the town, and a lot of residents do it due to the drought they always reuse grey water for other purposes like lawn watering or car clean ups. The third option the invention of new technology can also provide a great The third option is the invention of new technology either in the way of a larger scale recycling waste water and filtration system  or in the aid of a direct supply from its rich neighbors like Palo Alto to be  re- allocated to the small town this can truly benefit the community at large. 

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  2. Water Crisis

    Water is an essential resource and a critical part of a functioning society. Without access to fresh, clean drinking water, a city can no longer meet the basic needs of its citizens, and the dominos of an operational society start to fall. One might think that these are simply third world problems, but with a rising population, wasteful practices, and some geological factors, Miami Florida is ranked as one of the most vulnerable cities in the U.S. to a water crisis in the years to come (Ruggeri, 2017). With Miami being built at sea level, it is particularly vulnerable to sea level rise. Also, being built on porous limestone, the water doesn’t just come in over seawalls, but seeps up from the ground with the rising water table. So, with nearly 90% of the drinking water in south Florida coming from aquifers, they are finding that their fresh water is being pushed further and further inland as the salt water exerts more and more pressure (Ruggeri, 2017). Unrestrained pumping of aquifers is also resulting in salt water intrusion which destroys the remaining fresh water. Reviewing their situation, I picked three strategies that I think would best help to combat these states of alarm.

    First, probably the quickest and cheapest way to reduce the impact would be educate the public on a way to adjust their water consumption and lifestyles. The average Floridian uses about 158 gallons of water per day, and new residential developments use much more water than older ones with about 67% of their water being used for landscape irrigation (N.E.D.W, 2018). With explosive population growth and wasteful water use, this is requiring enormous water volumes from the Aquifer (Ruggeri, 2017). If Florida made more of an attempt to address the issue and talk about it, maybe people would start to understand the severity of the issue. But with the Florida governor Rick Scott being a climate change sceptic, he has directed attention away from the issue and makes common practices to move sea-level rise to the end of the list of priorities. As former employees and elected officials have said, they were told not to utter the phrase “climate change” and resiliency and sea level rise is never discussed; “It’s never talked about. It’s crime, how much we’re going to invest in police, how much we’re going to invest in traffic, how much we’re going to invest in public safety, libraries – those are the topics of conversation”, says Esteban Bovo, chair of the Miami-Dade County Commission (Ruggeri, 2017).

    Another strategy would be to make climate change mitigations. There are current mitigations being made such as raising the roads and requiring new building to be raised, but these don’t help address the issue for existing infrastructure. An additional part of the problem is that south Florida was built on a swamp, with residents cutting canals to drain inland areas, and using the fill to raise the land and build properties. But, now these canals are open doors for tidal flooding and storm surge (Ruggeri, 2017). Fort Lauderdale north of Miami, has been installing tidal valves to deal with the problem, each one-way valve allows storm water to drain without allowing saltwater back in. There have also been efforts in Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, and Miami to raise the height of seawalls here, but between the aesthetics and cost towards property owners, they are only required to keep the existing seawalls in a state of good repair (Ruggeri, 2017). Some other coastal cities in Florida have used pumps to minimize flooding, but only Miami Beach has adopted an integrated, major pumping system as part of an aggressive overall defense strategy (Ruggeri, 2017).

    Finally, one strategy Miami could use to help the problem would be to improve water catchment and harvesting. The drainage system there was designed to let storm water drain into the ocean when it rains, but if they were able to capture that rain water, it would not only stop fresh water from being mixed in with salt water but would reduce the overall amount of water in the floods. Capturing the rain water before allowing it to mix with the seawater would also be much cheaper than trying to remove the salt through desalination. Desalination is a very expensive process and cost about 10 times more than aquifer water (N.E.D.W, 2018). With this captured water they could release it back into the aquifer and help replenish it back to normal levels.

    References

    – Not Enough Drinking Water! (n.d.). Retrieved February 24, 2018, from http://priceofsprawl.com/water.html

    – Ruggeri, A. (2017, April 04). Future – Miami’s fight against rising seas. Retrieved February 24, 2018, from
    http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170403-miamis-fight-against-sea-level-rise

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  3. The region I will be exploring for water availability, consumption and possible solutions to current issues surrounding this resource is the state of California. Although there are many regions in the world with far less water readily available for use, I believe California is an excellent age-study in the mismanagement of a what ought to be a shared, public resource.
    The bulk of California’s water usage goes to the Central Valley region; this is where all of the crops in California’s agricultural industry are planted, maintained and harvested. The Central Valley is notorious for having expensive, water-demanding crop, such as almond trees.
    Although this agricultural industry uses the majority of the state’s water supply, the problem goes beyond farm operations: California is the only state in the United States where groundwater is not a public good, meaning it is not entirely owned by the state government. Dated policies have made it possible for groundwater beneath properties to belong, privately, to the citizens that own that property. This often leads to misuse of this precious resource in drought conditions(which recur about every ten years in California). A prime example being the most recent drought we just got out of: several areas of the San Joaquin Valley were in danger of developing sinkholes because private users depleted groundwater supplies to a near standstill.
    The top three solutions I have to fix this problem go hand in hand: to develop and enact better policies and regulations surrounding water and its ownership, to have community based governance and partnerships and to holistically manage ecosystems.
    The first solution would produce immediate positive results for the state’s water supply and condition of our region during drought times, we need to develop where groundwater can no longer be a private good. This may come as a very expensive and well-contested move by the government, as the billion-dollar farming industry thrives on this privatization of groundwater, but it is an absolutely necessary solution we need in order to be prepared for the next drought.
    The second solution would help to make the communities in California more involved in how their local water is used and provide for far more accountability of resources for companies that use a lot of water.
    Lastly, we need to learn to holistically manage our ecosystems because most Californians still don’t understand the environmental repercussions of depleted groundwater.

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  4. Rory Lapham
    Amir Gohar
    Global Environmental Crisis
    February 22, 2018
    WP 4
    Here in the United Sates, California is known to be the state with largest present water crisis due our drought. The area that is severely affected is the central valley where all the agriculture is taken place. Due to the lack of rain, farmers have been forced to use much of California’s number one source of freshwater, the central valley aquifer. This is resulting in rapid depletion due to a high rate of extraction and a low rate of input.
    Experts in the field have suggested 19 proposed solutions that help areas that are battling a water crisis. The top three of the nineteen propositions for California’s circumstance, are to Improve irrigation and agricultural practices, Develop and enact better policies and regulation, and Improve water catchment and harvesting.
    The first and most obvious solution deals with the improvement of water use in the whole agricultural system, for around ¾ of California’s fresh water use is to raise livestock or water crops. Therefore, farmers must discover and attempt more efficient techniques to conserve water in the aquifer. One maybe to adjust water use with more precise climate conditions, such as using less water when atmospheric precipitation is high, or supervise saturation levels to prevent unnecessary flooding. Not only would there be more water saved, but this could cut expenses for farmers well for purchasing less water.
    The second solution involves improveing government policy and regulation to retain required water standards, but to prevent water waste. With officials enforcing policies, we can make sure all farm workers understand the importance of conserving our freshwater supply and motivate them to behave more sustainable.
    Finally, agriculturalist should develop more sustainable water harvesting techniques that gather water from other sources. One example would be use fog nets that capture atmospheric moisture through fibers then transfer it to water in tanks for storage, or an even simpler method would be to create a gutter system that catches rain water from all over environment.
    These are the three solutions I find most accommodating to California’s current water crisis. It is important to act timely on the predicament, for while we still have water available at the moment, we can prevent a result of running out of water which will further deepen the issue creating more unnecessary havoc.

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  5. Many places in the world suffer from simply not having enough water to sustain large populations of people. However, here in California, we have enough water, but not during the right time or in the right place. California has a climate that consist of wet winters and dry summers. During the winter, snow accumulates into snowpack in the North and Eastern mountains of the state. During the summer, the snowpack melts providing water runoff for the rest of the year. Water dams have been used to strengthen this natural process allowing further retention of water for dry parts of the year. Furthermore, aqueducts are used to transport water from the mountains to drier regions of the state. This system of dams, aqueducts, and relying on the snowpack has historically proven sustainable, but with drier weather and large increases in population the states current water system is proving to be unsustainable. As a result, California has seen heavy reliance on groundwater sources, which are being used faster than it can be naturally replenished.

    Much of California’s water infrastructure such as dams were constructed during the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. However, since 1970, California’s population has almost doubled from approximately 20 million to close to 40 million people. Similarly, agricultural output has increased during the same period becoming the states leading industry. This growth coupled with drier climates has rendered the states water system insufficient. Construction of more water infrastructure such as new dams would help to retain more water for dry years. However, changing attitudes on the environmental impact of dams makes this option very unlikely. Therefore, I believe California will need to adopt new strategies to solve the current water shortage trend. Luckily, many of these strategies have begun to be implemented, but not to the extent to make a real difference yet.

    The largest consumer of water in the state by far is the agricultural industry. If not for the states agriculture, there would be more than enough water to support the states large population. However, agriculture is needed for human sustainment and the industry is an important economic contributor for the state. Sense reductions in agriculture are not an option for the state, I believe the strategy of innovation is the best approach. Increased technologies allowing for less water use and smart watering of crops will help to greatly reduce the amount of water used in agricultural activities. But, due to the increased cost of such innovation, they will likely be slow to implement in an industry with such low profit margins.

    Residential areas in California are also large consumers of water. Many are pushing for people to replace their lawns and plants with more natural landscaping that uses less water. Environmentally, this movement might make the most sense, but people in California like there green shrubs and lawns and are not likely to give them up. However, recycling waste water for residential use can help to reduce water usage for residential areas while still allowing people to maintain their green spaces. Waste water is currently already recycled in many areas of the state, but is usually put back into the ground or discharged in the ocean. If we can increase the recycling of waste water and infrastructure to get that water to the public, we should see reductions in residential water use without significantly altering people’s behavior.

    I believe strategies like water use innovation and recycling will help with California’s water problems, but think more drastic changes will have to take place to keep up with the states population growth. With large cities like San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco being located on the ocean, I argue movement towards creating desalination plants is the best solution. Desalination is the process of removing salt from seawater making it usable for humans. However, the process takes large amounts of energy to make feasible. Nuclear and fossil fuel power plants are capable of providing enough power for desalination, but such sources of energy have grown unpopular among Californian voters. As of today, I do not believe solar and wind power is capable of providing enough stable power for desalination plants, yet they might soon prove capable with the current rapid improvements in renewable energy technology. Once an acceptable energy source is chosen, the second hurdle for desalination is finding locations for the plants. It is unlikely cities and the public will be willing to give up extremely valuable waterfront areas for the building of unsightly desalination plants, so I do not think this technology will be adopted in the immediate future. However, I believe desalination will eventually be adopted if California urban areas continue to grow at the current rate.

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  6. The Southeast of Spain is the driest area in the Iberian Peninsula. Spain has a very diversified climate landscape, including desert areas such as the provinces of Murcia or Almeria. They present the lowest precipitation in the country, Almeria accumulating only 104 l/m2 in a year and Murcia collecting only 200 to 300 l/m2. The climate traits they submit are the main cause for the water stress they suffer, since they receive the influence of sub-Saharan hot and dry wind currents at the same time that they are blocked by the Penibaetic System mountain range from receiving the humid air stream from the Atlantic. The temperatures go over 40 degrees Celsius, this is, 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

    The management of water resources in Spain involves several problems. Being a developed country inside of the European Union, however, helps a lot when soothing the problems related to technological scarcity, water contamination, or deficient distribution systems. Still, it is necessary to point out that both places in the Peninsula are in the poorest region in the country, the South, so compared to the rest of Spain, they also suffer economic problems when dealing with water difficulties. One of the most characteristics hindrances that hardens finding and implementing solutions in the country is the degree of politicization of the issue. Like in the rest of spheres of politics, the confrontation between right and left parties slows any new measure. The government of Murcia is dealing with the approval of a new “National Water Pact”, which proposes new projects such as the increase of the capacity of already existing desalination plants and the construction of new ones, among others. Also, it is in this region where the water supply is the most expensive, being the price gap of more of 300% difference in several occasions.

    Among the diverse attempts made to relieve Murcia’s inhabitants of the problem is the water transfer to the region of Alicante, Almeria and Murcia from the watershed of the river Jucar. However, this has never been carried out, since the river itself is declared to be in drought levels and Murcia is already depending on a water transfer made in the past from the watershed of the rivers Tajo and Segura. There is a lot of controversy regarding these practices, because many believe they are stained by hidden economically dubious objectives by the government (accused of corruption). This idea is supported by the fact that all the recent reports of alarming data are published by government organisms, which push for the construction of expensive systems such as these water transfers that eventually raise too sharply the prices of water.

    Therefore, considering all the previous factors, I think some revolutionary strategies should be taken into account. According to a report published for Greenpeace by Luis Francisco Turrion, an Spanish hydrologist expert on the issue, there are a lot of miscalculations in the data regarding the amount of water resources in Murcia, since the numbers referring to underground water are misleading, and it is much more abundant than informed so. Thus, one of the strategies that should be followed is: IMPROVE WATER CATCHMENT AND HARVESTING, since the existing wells in the province are underused to an extent that only one tenth function, causing this a tremendous waste of water. This would avoid costly technological projects, since the system of wells is already in place. Secondly, I think a lot of R&D OR INNOVATION projects are needed to create an appropriate and efficient system of managing and distributing the abundant underground to let it get to every place in the area. Finally, it is a must for the people in Murcia and the South East of Spain to solve the problem to DEVELOP AND ENACT BETTER POLICIES AND REGULATIONS, including transparency codes, a collective set of objectives and regulations for all the provinces affected, enforcement mechanisms and sanctioning measures. This is the only way actually efficient solutions can be designed and enforced.

    http://www.eldiario.es/murcia/medio_ambiente/Murcia-tierra-suficiente-depender-trasvase_0_681382593.html
    https://noticias.eltiempo.es/sequia-espana-las-zonas-mas-aridas/

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  7. Water resources are distributed unequally on the earth’s surface due to different environmental conditions such as rains, climate, and presence of large fluvial or lake basins. According the United Nations, about 1 billion people in the world does not have access to drinking water and about 2 and a half does not have enough water for the hygiene and common food practices. Therefore, water despite being one renewable resource it tends to become increasingly scares, especially in certain areas of the Earth where population is most intense and it steadily increasing. In itself, human activities do not change the total amount of water available, which remains constant, but we alter its quality, making it unusable. The problem comes from the fact that water is generally extracted “clean” and returned polluted. Many countries in the world face water scarcity and drought. When one thinks about water crisis, it comes to mind less developed countries or emerging economies. However, also developed countries face these tremendous environmental challenges. One of these countries is Italy, in Europe. Many regions in Italy suffer from water problems and many are the initiatives that try to either prevent or help to solve the problem. In this reflection paper, I want to focus on Sardinia, the Italian island located in the Western Mediterranean.

    Currently, Sardinia is facing an emergency drought, with rationing of water and a decline in production. Sardinia’s economy is based on livestock and agricultural goods. Its land is dedicated 20% to agriculture, 60% to livestock, and the rest 20% is inhabited by forests and small urban areas. Their agriculture is associated with products such as cheese, olive oil, wine, artichokes, and tomatoes. At the present time, Sardinia is facing one of the worst droughts. Dried up fields and compromised harvests. Sardinians call it a real apocalypse. More than 40 municipalities of the island have asked the regional president to proclaim a state of natural disaster. This provision would allow to implement extraordinary measures and to ask financial compensation for farmers and breeders, to be added to the funds of the regional budget. The countryside is dry from the north to the south of the island. The drought emergency is creating major problems especially for farms, which have to deal with drastic water restrictions. After months of nothing to scarce rains, the basins that supply the aqueducts are in fact almost all dry.

    This is a very serious situation, which has two main causes. The first is climate change that Sardinia has resulted in a drastic reduction in rainfall. The second is the management of the water resource, which is entrusted to –Abbanoa – an instrumental body of the Sardinian region to which almost all the municipalities are associated with. Since 2005, Abbanoa, has replaces the management bodies controlled by local communities. The goal was to rationalize water governance by centralizing it at the regional level into a single structure. Twelve years later, however, the results are far from positive. There are many municipalities that are threatening to leave Abbanoa and to go back to doing it alone, as they did before 2005. The problem of fires is also linked to droughts. Sardinia is one the Italian regions most at risk for fires. Every summer, thousands of hectares of crops, forests, and Mediterranean scrubland sadly get transformed into ashes, facing a huge damage. Now the devastation of the countryside by the lack of water is even more in danger.

    The three top strategies that work efficiently in Sardinia are: invent water conservation technologies, develop and enact better policies and regulations, and improve distribution infrastructure. In Sardinia, water crisis does not depend on rains but the persistent absence of connections between the reservoirs and the continuous loss of obtained water due to inefficient water pipelines (not to mention the recurrent water rationing in Sassari or the yellow water that often comes out from the taps in Oblia). In 2014, 55% of the water fed into the networks by Abbanoa it has been lost. The problem with Sardinia is not the drought, but the disastrous conditions of the water pipelines. The problem here is very apparent, for every liter of water that flows from Sardinians’ taps a similar quantity is lost due to inefficient distribution infrastructures. A simple arithmetic model, data and statistics render the idea more seriously and concretely then the mere recognition that these issues exist: to put it into percentage, 55% of the water collected, produced or purchased, it is 146 million cubic meters of the 269 million that are placed into the networks of Abbanoa. What Sardinia need is a better management of the integrated water service of the island. By creating efficient technologies to store water and by enacting more ingenious policies for an equal distribution between regions Sardinia would easily fight the drastic problems due to drought in certain regions. To make some change happen, we have to acknowledge that certain environmental problems are not created by the natural environment itself but by our erroneous actions.

    Citations –

    – “La “colpa” della crisi idrica in Sardegna è dello stato delle condotte dell’acqua.” Gruppo d’Intervento Giuridico onlus. December 30, 2015. https://gruppodinterventogiuridicoweb.com/2015/12/31/la-colpa-della-crisi-idrica-in-sardegna-e-dello-stato-delle-condotte-dellacqua/.

    – Cossu, Constantino. “Emergenza siccità in Sardegna: acqua razionata e calo produttivo.” Il manifesto. June 19, 2017. https://ilmanifesto.it/emergenza-siccita-in-sardegna-acqua-razionata-e-calo-produttivo/.

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  8. Santa Barbara, California is my hometown, and it has recently been in the news due to some pretty unfortunate major weather events. In December of last year, the Thomas fire hit Santa Barbara and the surrounding areas, becoming the largest wildfire documented in California’s history. Shortly after this, a heavy rain came and caused major mudslides in the southern tip of Santa Barbara, causing mass destruction to roads, homes, and even life in the area. From what I can gather, the severity of these issues was in a large part due to the heavy drought that has been going on in Santa Barbara County for the last 10 years. Currently, Santa Barbara is in a stage 3 drought, and a citywide 30% reduction of water use is in place. There are regulations and when you can water your lawn and when you can’t, there are signs in restaurants asking guests to limit their water consumption, and you must report any water waste you see to the police. Although the overall population of Santa Barbara is wealthy, educated, and has a political voice, the environmental damage of drought is able to speak louder than the citizens.

    Although most citizens in Santa Barbara are educated on the water crisis, I don’t think they are educated enough. I think that there needs to be more education surrounding alternative ways of saving water. I think that sustainable gardening classes should be widely available that way homeowners can learn about ways to save more water such as a drip irrigation system. I think that their needs to be education provided by the government to businesses and communities for how to change lifestyles around saving water. Aspects of lifestyle that can greatly influence water use are diet, daily personal hygiene routine, cleaning and gardening. I think this type of education would be easy to spread, as it can be distributed via newspaper, radio, flyers, or community gatherings. Community gatherings would be ideal, because individuals could ask questions and learn from others who may already have a low impact water consumption rate.

    Another huge strategy that could save more water would be improving irrigation and agricultural practices. For me, the biggest no brainer to cut down on water use would be to stop eating animals. Of course, this isn’t everyone’s first choice, but if everyone was on the side of the earth then this would happen quickly. Using water to grow grass for cows and other grazing animals, which we then in turn eat just doesn’t make any sense. Instead of watering grass, we could just focus that time and water use on watering crops that humans can eat ourselves. Not only would this save water, but this would also help to end world hunger, as other crops that we feed to animals could go to humans instead. Apart from changing our agricultural practices, there could be more efficient ways of water crops. In my opinion, having raised beds for certain crops and incorporating in drip irrigation is very water efficient. Also, in areas near oceans that have a lot of fog, which Santa Barbara does, fog catchers would be a very water efficient way to capture water and use it to grow crops.

    Lastly, this is not only big for Santa Barbara as a coastal community, but also many other major coastal cities worldwide, would be climate change mitigation. As the world gets warmer, areas are going to get drier and our freshwater supply will continue to shrink. The two strategies above could help mitigate climate change by educating the public, and helping to reduce GHG’s by reducing meat consumption. Of course, there are many other factors that play into climate change mitigation, but water plays a huge role.

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  9. As climate change continues to intensify around the globe, the distribution of precipitation is shifting in a dramatic, even catastrophic way. Cities in some areas are experiencing record-breaking storms, while others are stuck in devastating droughts. Cape Town, South Africa, is currently in the midst of a drought which has lasted over three years (Tavitian, 2018). Government officials anticipate turning the tap off for homes and businesses on so-called “Day Zero” in July, at which point citizens will have to go to rationing stations for their water (Tavitian, 2018). Currently, water usage is limited to 50 litres per person per day (Mtembu, 2018). By comparison, in the U.S., the average citizen uses 300-380 litres per day (Howard, 2016). There is a tax on extra water usage for companies, and difficulties with low water pressure for hospitals, restricting their ability to treat their patients (Mtembu, 2018). Much of the local water crisis was unavoidable for Cape Town. The local water footprint is relatively low, and the community far from wasteful. Their water comes from a reservoir near the city, refilled by rainfall, but as the rain in the area decreases, the water level continues to drop.
    Simple solutions like education or increasing the price of water have already been implemented in this city, so they wouldn’t be effective moving forward. In fact, government, businesses, and private citizens alike are doing almost everything they can to reduce water usage. The only strategy left is to find new water sources. Relying only on the rain that ends up in one reservoir is clearly not sustainable at this point, due to climate change. As rainfall decreases, it becomes more necessary that no rainwater goes to waste. More elaborate catchment systems within the city and surrounding areas would help ease the burden on their reservoirs, as well as any groundwater they may be tapping into. The ability to desalinate seawater in a cost- and energy-efficient manner would also be invaluable to the problem of water scarcity, since Cape Town has easy access to the ocean, a virtually unlimited supply of currently unusable water. In the long run, however, the most important changes that can be made are international policies curbing the human activities responsible for climate change. Even if Cape Town develops the most advanced water catchment system, or the most efficient water desalination plant, the damage to the ecosystem that will occur as extreme droughts like these continue is impossible for humans to correct. It is not only the citizens of Cape Town that suffer from water scarcity, and it is not only them who have to take responsibility.

    Works Cited
    Mtembu, Noloyiso. “Cape Town Water Woes: Dialysis Patients at Risk.” Weekend Argus, Independent Online, 24 Feb. 2018, http://www.iol.co.za/weekend-argus/cape-town-water-woes-dialysis-patients-at-risk-13466781.
    Perlman, USGS Howard. “Water Questions & Answers: How Much Water Does the Average Person Use at Home per Day?” Per Capita Water Use. Water Questions and Answers; USGS Water Science School, U.S. Geological Survey, 2 Dec. 2016, water.usgs.gov/edu/qa-home-percapita.html.
    Tavitian, Maral, and Kevin Winter. “Why Is Cape Town Drying Up?” Council on Foreign Relations, Council on Foreign Relations, 22 Feb. 2018, http://www.cfr.org/interview/why-cape-town-drying.

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  10. In Dakar, the capital of Senegal the urban areas presently face issues pertaining to water sanitation and water scarcity. This is due in part to its fast growing population and rapid migration from rural areas to the capital. Due to the speed at which the population is growing at the infrastructure is incapable of matching said numbers with livable and healthy neighborhoods. As a result of this slums emerge, what this means is high number of people living in close quarters with sometimes no access to water or clean water. On top of this sanitation systems are not updated (so to speak) to hold such high numbers of people which causes a number of health issues, such as callora. It is important to note that I am only talking about the urban part of the region, although Senegal’s rural areas face very similar problems when it comes to water scarcity and sanitation. The ways in which to tackle these issues are different.
    By now it is very obvious that the top two solutions must be government involvement and the improvement of infrastructure. Which in my opinion are one in the same. In order to improve issues like lack of access to water solutions must come from the government. Political support and urban planning is crucial to ensuring that people not only have access to water but that their water is drinkable. In 2013 Dakar faced a major shortage of water. For two weeks mass amount of people about (3 million) went without access to water. Trucks had to come into neighborhoods to give water to communities causing major conflict amongst these communities on who could even have the water. The reason these areas had no water was because of a pipeline. One pipeline serving about 3 million people, 3 million is almost the entire population of Dakar. The pipeline suffered major damage due to wear and tear, and to even repair it took international aid from France and China. City planning needs to be a top priority for those in politically appointed to avoid major incidents such as this one. City planning doesn’t necessarily mean the rearranging of an entire block, it could be the paving of roads to avoid flooding. The expansion of plumbing and drainage systems prior to building new house.
    Lastly, implementing ways that homes themselves can collect water, a water catchment system. Commonly found in rural areas however, in urban areas if neighbors were to do this as well to act as a water reserve for when water does become scares this might help to lessen the negative effects of pipelines malfunctioning, as well as help water pressure. It is important however to keep in mind that water catchment systems must be carefully positioned and protect as to not attract mosquitoes. Insects such as these are attracted to open bodies of water so as to not spread more disease this would have to be taken into account.

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  11. In California, the average water use is for environmental, agricultural, and urban purposes. California’s water supply is significantly dependent on snowpack every winter. The snowpack which is received replenishes bodies of water such as streams and lakes. If surface water is scarce, Californians rely on aquifers (Dimick, 2015). These underground water supplies can be drilled to minimize stress on surface water supplies (Dimick, 2015).

    Although California is able to receive water from snowpack and ground water supply, California’s water supply has been stressed even more due to a historic drought which began in 2012 (NASA, 2017). Californians’ excessive groundwater consumption began during the 1920’s in the San Joaquin Valley. Since then, humans have observed the effects of excessive groundwater consumption in the subsidence of the Central Valley. In the article, “NASA Data Show California’s San Joaquin Valley Still Sinking,” NASA explains that the valley has significantly sunk in this period of drought. To further explain, scientist’s data shows that the valley has sunk 28 feet. In addition to this, some areas of land show subsidence at a rate of 2 feet of sinking per year (NASA, 2017).

    During periods of drought, subsidence in the Central Valley increases because farmers rely on aquifer supplies to sustain the agriculture production in the region (NASA, 2017). California has responded to excess groundwater pumpage through the use of legislation. On September 16, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown, signed 3 bills which enable the management and conservation of groundwater usage (State of California, 2018). In the article, “Amid Drought, New California Law Will Limit Groundwater Pumping for First Time, by Michelle Nijhuis, Nijhuis describes the California regulation on groundwater usage, as she states,
    The bills signed…give local agencies the power to restrict groundwater pumping, shut down wells, and impose fines and penalties on resistant landowners. They direct state agencies to oversee groundwater sustainability plans developed by local agencies, and authorize them to step in if local actions aren’t sufficient (Nijhuis, 2014).
    While California is known for being an environmental policy leader, the most recent regulation on groundwater extraction will not require local agencies’ sustainability plans to be officially implemented until 2040. These agencies were allowed five to seven years to develop their groundwater water plans when the bill was signed (Nijhuis, 2014). I think that in order to address California’s water crisis, Californians need to consider more than legislation action as a solution.

    Strategies to Address California’s Water Crisis

    The strategies that can be incorporated in solving California’s water crisis should be to educate Californians about water consumption and lifestyle changes, improve irrigation techniques and agricultural practices, and to develop community-based governance and partnerships.

    When educating people on water consumption, the focus should be how to limit water usage. Through education, people can learn which items or foods are water-intensive to produce, which could help people make conscious, sustainable choices in their everyday lives. Also, knowledgeable landscapers and community members can design the places in which they live to use more sustainable infrastructure building materials and design in terms of water consumption.

    A significant amount of California’s water usage is due to agriculture production. By improving irrigation techniques for farmers, this could potentially conserve water. For example, drip irrigation techniques ensure less water is wasted as run-off in farms. Also, California should transform their agricultural production practices by growing less water-intense foods.

    Community-based governance and partnerships should be incorporated in solving the water crisis because when communities are able to participate in decision-making processes it can lead to sustainable policy making. If community members are able to determine how the available water is designated, this could lead to better management practices and conservation of water, along with more transparent access to the resource for the public.

    References

    Dimick, D. (2015). 5 Things You Should Know About California’s Water Crisis. Retrieved from https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/04/150406-california-drought-snowpack-map-water-science/

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). (2017).NASA Data Show California’s San Joaquin Valley Still Sinking. Retrieved from https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/nasa-data-show-californias-san-joaquin-valley-still-sinking

    Nijhuis, M. (2014). Amid Drought, New California Law Will Limit Groundwater Pumping for First Time. Retrieved from https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/09/140917-california-groundwater-law-drought-central-valley-environment-science/

    State of California. (2018). SGMA Groundwater Management. Retrieved from https://www.water.ca.gov/Programs/Groundwater-Management/SGMA-Groundwater-Management

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  12. The case study for this paper is Senegal. The country is located at the westernmost point of the continent and hence is situated right next to the Atlantic Ocean. The population of Senegal as of 2018, according to the recent report of the World Bank, is 16 Million of which 3 Million live in the capital city Dakar. 55% of the current population still live in rural area where access to water is the most difficult even though there have been some improvements lately thanks to government involvement. The country is still not experiencing high water stress. According to the World Stress Index (2013), the country is still under 10% which means there is less competition among people to access to water. However, the country will not be an exception to the global trend regarding urbanization: as of 2035, 52% of the population will live in urban area and water access may be an issue. That is an issue that the government will need to focus on in the future but as of now, I will discuss the rural area where majority of the population still lives in.
    According to the World Bank, only 53% of the rural population has access to basic drinking water services. When compared to the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa, the country is doing relatively well. However, considering the amount of people that lives in rural area, the number indicates that almost half of the rural population does not have access to clean drinking water which implies that access to clean water for other purposes may be limited. The three solutions I will be discussing are the following: policies to address the issue, community based governance and partnerships, and Education.
    Policies to address the issue are inevitable and obviously fall under the government responsibility. One of the first solution is to pass legislation that sanction access to clean water as a basic human right. Such solution may appear symbolic. However, it can result in legislations to increase funding for the water sector and ultimately an efficient distribution system. Also, one key legislation is to create decentralization programs. This will lead into the second solution.
    Community based governance and partnerships is another key solution. Because government give less attention to rural areas, it is important that those communities be able to govern themselves and address quickly the issue that they face. This also means that the government will need to at least provide or facilitate the access to resources that are needed in finding a solution to the lack of access of clean water.
    Finally, Education. Education will remain central in ensuring that the solution mentioned above works successfully. It will allow the people of rural areas to predict the consequences of the issue they face and come up with prevention. For example, they can come up with techniques and ways to manage their water in order to prevent water scarcity. They will be able to raise awareness among their community and neighboring community etc. This is the importance of education in solving their issues both in the short and long term.

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  13. Henry Hager
    Water Crisis

    Water shortage has always been a prevalent issue for Cape Town, South Africa although recently the magnitude of the problem has grown tremendously. The water crisis was declared a natural disaster on Tuesday by South Africas government, with water levels at unprecedented lows. The Voelvlei Dam has always been the regions main source, established in 1971 and has the second largest capacity of dams in the Western Cape Water Supply System. The Dam is situated in a natural depression in which it collects water from the mountains sitting East of it. Due to lack of rain water the dam is at an all time low and the surrounding residents of Cape Town are directly seeing those effects. Most residents have already been limited to 13 gallons of water a day, substantially different to our country, where the average resident uses upwards of 100 gallons a day. This being a problem this region has faced for a while, most methods of water conservation have already been exercised, to no avail. Restricting the amount of water each resident consumes should’ve been put into motion earlier when the drought surfaced but was not at this level of severity. Now, the city has to look to alternative methods of conservation and ultimately a new source of water. It is no doubt the only long-term solutions for Cape Towns water crisis will be very expensive. Desalination seems like the most viable option, as of now. Aquifers and small-scale desalination plants should be set up around the city. The city is completely surrounded by water just none of it is drinkable. With small scale desalination plants, concrete pipelines can be run right into the sea, the seawater will be filtered through reverse osmosis which will split the sea water 50/50 into half clean water and half brine. The brine can then be sent back a good distance off shore and is thought to disperse quickly. This would be a strong solution for Cape Town, until hopefully the rain cycle returns to normal. Another solution would be rain harvesting, in which water is collected from places such as the roof of a building, fog etc then stored for later use. In rural South Africa, this is a very common practice. Dams are also a method of rainwater collection and are an excellent method of collecting groundwater runoff. It will take time for these methods of conservation to be fully installed in the city. That being said, in the meantime, the strict water limitation on residents is necessary as well as continuing to educate people on how to use water more efficiently.

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    • Tina .C. Adewunmi
      Amir Gohar
      2/24/18

      Water Crisis
      The quality of human life is proportional to amount of fresh water per person.
      Water is an important resource for anyone without it we cannot survive in this world. Fresh water is an irreplaceable resource that we are managing poorly. A person can survive for several weeks without food, and only few days without water. In the South West of the country on the coast of the Gulf of Gunea, close to Benin City in Nigeria. Lagos is in the major dishonesty on water crisis facing the country due to corruptions from the government officials. Property rights and the idea of exclusivity often undermine universal water right on the basis of the biological necessity of access to water, but this. Water inequalities as a result of geographical conditions, technical choices and political legal arrangements with Nigeria government, when two equal rights meets, power decides (Aristotle) Water rights are increasingly articulated via commodification of water and private appropriation (Bakker, 2003).
      In Lagos Nigeria, most populous city is in the midst of a major water crisis. It is unfortunate that 63 millions of poor people do not have access to clean water. Requires immediate attention given the impact of climate change. Water is poorly managed because people waste and pollute it, and we charge too little for making it available. This water problem/crisis can be a huge concern in the year 2020 regarding 1 in 5 people worldwide will survive on less water per day than to used to flush a toilet. The Nigeria Citizen need a global health issue where the world heath organization (WHO) estimates that every day an average of 2,800 children younger than 5years died from water borne infectious diseases such as malaria, cholera, dysentery. This is an economic issue because it affects mothers and youngsters’ in the community. Although women and girls often are responsible for going out searching for clean water for long period of hours daily. The national and global security issue public assistance because of increasing tensions within and between nations over access to limited water resources that they shared.
      Factors of rural to urban migration deficiency of property and poor education and government is not admitting that there is a problem with water access because they cannot afford to sort it out. The government does not want to invest their time or money in this particular issue. And if they resolve this problem, who is it beneficial for? The farmers need more water than citizens of urban areas, but there are very deep and distinct social divides in developing societies. Human consumption document that it is generally accepted that 100 liters of water per day is the average requirement by a human being to live healthily.
      Thus we estimated that in a country of 170 million that the mean average of accessible water by most people in Nigeria should be within the threshold of 25.5 liters per day due to economic water scarcity in Nigeria.
      Estimations of water consumed in Nigeria daily, ranging from bottle water to “pure water” (sachet water) is about N8 billion ($40 million Dollars) per day according to Dr. Paul Orhii, DG National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control.consumable water is a fast growing business in Nigeria. Each bottle water cost N50 (25 cents) at the minimum, with the population of Nigeria, which is over 170 million people. I experienced it last year I want home with my daughter, we could not believed how people survived with hardships no good roads and clean water. They believe one day all this experienced will be thing of the past. I may recommend integrating the use of rainwater for industrial and domestic purposes, into water management strategies, which often focus on surface water and ground water.
      People should protecting and resting the ecosystems, such as rivers, wetlands, and forests that naturally filter, store, and release water.
      Among the foregoing number, over 100 million Nigerians consume bottled water per day. This consumption rate excludes water used within a household for cooking, cleaning dishes, baths, laundry and all other forms of sanitation. Hygiene and Health people cannot maintain proper sanitation systems when there were facing scarcity of water.

      Like

    • Amir Gohar
      2/26/18

      Water Crisis
      The quality of human life is proportional to amount of fresh water per person.
      Water is an important resource for anyone without it we cannot survive in this world. Fresh water is an irreplaceable resource that we are managing poorly. A person can survive for several weeks without food, and only few days without water. In the South West of the country on the coast of the Gulf of Gunea, close to Benin City in Nigeria. Lagos is in the major dishonesty on water crisis facing the country due to corruptions from the government officials. Property rights and the idea of exclusivity often undermine universal water right on the basis of the biological necessity of access to water, but this. Water inequalities as a result of geographical conditions, technical choices and political legal arrangements with Nigeria government, when two equal rights meets, power decides (Aristotle) Water rights are increasingly articulated via commodification of water and private appropriation (Bakker, 2003).
      In Lagos Nigeria, most populous city is in the midst of a major water crisis. It is unfortunate that 63 millions of poor people do not have access to clean water. Requires immediate attention given the impact of climate change. Water is poorly managed because people waste and pollute it, and we charge too little for making it available. This water problem/crisis can be a huge concern in the year 2020 regarding 1 in 5 people worldwide will survive on less water per day than to used to flush a toilet. The Nigeria Citizen need a global health issue where the world heath organization (WHO) estimates that every day an average of 2,800 children younger than 5years died from water borne infectious diseases such as malaria, cholera, dysentery. This is an economic issue because it affects mothers and youngsters’ in the community. Although women and girls often are responsible for going out searching for clean water for long period of hours daily. The national and global security issue public assistance because of increasing tensions within and between nations over access to limited water resources that they shared.
      Factors of rural to urban migration deficiency of property and poor education and government is not admitting that there is a problem with water access because they cannot afford to sort it out. The government does not want to invest their time or money in this particular issue. And if they resolve this problem, who is it beneficial for? The farmers need more water than citizens of urban areas, but there are very deep and distinct social divides in developing societies. Human consumption document that it is generally accepted that 100 liters of water per day is the average requirement by a human being to live healthily.
      Thus we estimated that in a country of 170 million that the mean average of accessible water by most people in Nigeria should be within the threshold of 25.5 liters per day due to economic water scarcity in Nigeria.
      Estimations of water consumed in Nigeria daily, ranging from bottle water to “pure water” (sachet water) is about N8 billion ($40 million Dollars) per day according to Dr. Paul Orhii, DG National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control.consumable water is a fast growing business in Nigeria. Each bottle water cost N50 (25 cents) at the minimum, with the population of Nigeria, which is over 170 million people. I experienced it last year I want home with my daughter, we could not believed how people survived with hardships no good roads and clean water. They believe one day all this experienced will be thing of the past. I may recommend integrating the use of rainwater for industrial and domestic purposes, into water management strategies, which often focus on surface water and ground water.
      People should protecting and resting the ecosystems, such as rivers, wetlands, and forests that naturally filter, store, and release water.
      Among the foregoing number, over 100 million Nigerians consume bottled water per day. This consumption rate excludes water used within a household for cooking, cleaning dishes, baths, laundry and all other forms of sanitation. Hygiene and Health people cannot maintain proper sanitation systems when there were facing scarcity of water.

      Like

  14. Due to over usage and poor policies on water, millions of people are facing a life without ready access to water. Water, being the building block of life, is on of the most fought over resources in the world, as well as one of the most plentiful. Over half of the world’s surfaces are covered with water, but yet we are still having issues, even in water rich areas. In places built on the idea of water and its power, we are seeing the crisis strike. In Rome, a beautiful water city with thousands of fountains, miles of aqueducts and being built around a robust river, we see a vast shortage of water. The crisis has reached a peak with close to half a million residents being places on a water rationing system last summer. The problem of water has been analyzed and we see that in Rome close to 44 percent of water is being wasted. While the local government in Rome is trying to take steps to alleviate this problem, such as lowering water pressure, it is not enough. In order to fix this problem, multiple steps need to be taken.
    One of the initial steps that needs to be taken is #11- improving the distribution of water. While this issue is working to be addressed by the government, we see how the lack of maintenance and care for the distribution system has led to these issues. The water distribution system in Rome was built thousands of years ago, and while many improvements have been made, over 2,500 kilometers of the 7,000 kilometer long water pipe system are in desperate need of repair. The leaking and old pipes are costing the city millions of gallons of water a day. This clean water is ending up in puddles on the street. I suggest this fix because it is the most responsible. While it may not be the most cost effective, it is the number one way to stop the losing of water at such an intense rate.
    Another solution to this problem is #1- educates and change consumption. While Rome is the city of fountains, the people in the city due to carelessness are wasting so much clean water. Much like us in the United States, we do not see not having water as a problem as we cannot phantom life without turning on our facets to an endless supply. Instead of freaking out citizens over the idea of a decrease in water availability, it is important to show the people how much water is necessary. As is done in California, PSA’s such as the constant reminder that we are on a twice a week watering system, would do to assist with the problem. I think this is a good solution because by having people be more aware of their usage, we can change it. While I was in Italy this past fall, I saw nothing in local news or papers about water conservation the way we see it in California. By showing that conservation efforts are important, they could change the perception of the water shortage.
    The last strategy I would recommend is #18- climate change mitigation. Due to the fact that it is concluded that half of this problem is due to the occurring drought faced by the area, and sweltering temperatures that have never been seen before, it is time to recognize that man cannot solve all these issues. To combat this, the government of Rome ahs started pulling water from local lakes to supplement the water supply. This is causing issues where these people are now losing livelihoods in fishing and other aquatic areas due to the depletion of the water. I suggest that the Italian government try to find new ways to combat these issues, such as collecting water run off from the numerous mountains in the area, or working with other states to help find solutions, such as investing in massive water desalinization projects.

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  15. Los Angeles County, a region made up of nearly 10 million residents, has been suffering from a water shortage for many years due to its increasing population, heating climate, and growing consumption of water for industrial, agricultural, and residential purposes. According to a 2013 report by the USC Center for Sustainable Cities found that in the city of Los Angeles, water comes from three main sources: the Owens River, Northern California and the Colorado River, and groundwater. The Owens River, Mono Lake Basin, and Sierra Nevada reservoirs provide 36% of Los Angeles’s total water which provide 430 million gallons of water daily through the Los Angeles Aqueduct. In Northern California, when rainfall in the winter becomes snow, it melts in the springtime and turns into runoff and flows into aqueducts and the groundwater. With the Colorado River, it brings almost 1 billion gallons of water to supply all of Southern California to conserve the snowpack from the Sierra’s. Lastly, groundwater supply which is collected from rainfall or waste, accounts for 11% of LA County’s water supply.
    When the water finally reaches LA, 40% of the supply is reserved for agriculture, 50% goes to rivers and lakes, and 11% goes toward residential use. The reason why Southern California is experiencing a water shortage is mainly due to the climate. With warmer fall and winter temperatures, there has been a 5% reduction in snowpack. A major problem also is that the Los Angeles River used to be the main source of drinking water, but now it serves as a drainage system by which water that was once reusable (80%) is now getting dumped into the ocean. A third reason is that with more people, the water is becoming more stressed. With a growing demand for residential water, the water cannot be replenished from the rainfall or melted snow quick enough for the next year. Finally, evaporation and aqueduct leaks present a problem, for water gets wasted when the infrastructure of the aqueducts is unsustainable and old.
    With 97% of our water found in the oceans of our world, it is imperative that new desalination technologies heed the way for solving this water crisis. Los Angeles is in such close proximity to the Pacific Ocean but has yet to tap into that precious resource. By investing in a desalination technology that cleans the saltwater but prevents salt imbalances of the marine ecosystems that reside there, using an approach that filters the saltwater through a certain membrane can be beneficial not only to Los Angeles but to the entire world. A second strategy to utilize would be to mitigate climate change; evidently, climate change and water shortages go hand in hand- preventing the further warming of the Earth’s atmosphere would also lessen the negative impacts of less rainfall, melting snowpacks, etc. The third and last strategy would be to improve the infrastructure of the irrigation and aqueducts to ensure there is no wastefulness of the water that is being transported from Northern California and the Colorado River.

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  16. Water crisis

    Water scarcity is an issue that affects people all across the globe, even in areas that are not third world countries; it is currently affecting cities such as Miami, Los Angeles, and the Central Valley. The fact that the world is made up of 70 percent of water; only 2 percent of water is freshwater, which makes the distribution of it extremely tough. India is a country that is facing water scarcity and issues with water pollution head-on, especially Bengaluru, which is on the top of cities that are facing water issues, as it is full of lakes that have water, which can neither be used for agricultural or industrial use. “With the planets second largest population at 1.3 billion, and expectant growth to 1.7 billion by 2050, India finds itself unable to serve the vast majority of that populace with safe, clean water” (Hawthorne, 2018) The biggest issue that India faces is that there is a huge lack of regulation and neglect of issues such as these. The corruption in the government has without a doubt led to more and more issues rather than fixing any issues, leaving a large amount of the population without water. It is not only in India but with neighboring regions there are growing conflicts, for example, there are conflicts with “Pakistan over the River Indus and River Sutley in the west and north, and with China to the east with the River Brahmaputra” (Hawthorne, 2018).

    Groundwater drilling has seen an increase in India, but with the aggressive pumping and lack of proper water management is leading to more issues in India. India’s biggest recipe for disaster has been the fact that there is poor management, and a great of corruption within the government, there is no urgent need to fix all of these issues. The fact that in India there are “163 million Indians who lack access to safe drinking water, 210 million Indians lack access to improved sanitation, and 500 children under the age of five die from diarrhea each day in India” (Hawthorne, 2018). These figures are absolutely devastating.

    Three strategies that might be important for finally making changes would definitely include one being community-based governance and partnerships. “Community organizations elevate the experience of those whose voices merit more influence” (Gohar, 2018). The reason being, in India, there are many powerful people who can create organizations and get people involved in making real-life changes that the government won’t do. Also, the government needs to make great changed and “develop and enact better policies and regulations”. The biggest issue in India is a government that does not work hard enough to see the struggles of its residents. Another proposal would be to transfer water projects to developing countries. Granted, this would be a difficult task because of possible weak economies, but the effects would impact these struggling civilians greatly as long as there is an effort to make change by the people and government.

    Hawthorne, John. “The Water Crisis In India: Everything You Need To Know.” https://Businessconnectworld.com/2018/01/11/Water-Crisis-in-India/, 11 Jan. 2018, businessconnectworld.com/2018/01/11/water-crisis-in-india/.

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  17. Jacqueline Mister
    Water Crisis

    Cape Town is in a major water crisis. They are sadly amongst the few cities that are capable of being the first major cities to run out of water. Water scarcity is one extreme problem that climate change is also partly to blame for. Many people in this South African city lack the access of water and are under water stress which is leading to deathly results.
    Water covers about 70% of the Earth’s surface and only 3% of that water is fresh. Over one billion people lack the access to clean, fresh water and 2.7 billion people go without it for at least one month out of the year. Some strategies that could help Cape Town with their water crisis could be to improve water catchment and harvesting. This could potentially provide independent control over their water resources. This strategy is used in other major cities like Pakistan and India. Another idea would be to develop water technology and create more water projects to produce water in dramatic areas. Even though these economies are weak the government should still be able to propose a solution to these issues. My last top choice would be R&D Innovation. This solution can gain access to water in water scarce areas. Cities that operate sewage treatment plants are likely to pursue partnerships with clean energy producers to fertilize algae and other biofuel crops.
    Farmers in Cape Town have had a hard time growing food because of the lack of water irrigation and has affected their crops. They lost vineyards, and fruit orchards and many employees due to the loss of crops. Dam levels are dropping each week, and the city is currently under water restrictions of 50 liters per person a day. They have also fixed there water aquifers which will help ease the water crisis and provide better stabilization. The strategies I’ve listed will do a good job in preserving water, and finding new ways to produce water in scarce conditions.

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  18. While it might not be a traditional example, the high-profile case of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan which occurred in 2014, is an important example of how crucial having a clean domestic water supply truly is. Flint is especially relevant to the effects that social and wealth inequality has on domestic water supply quality.
    The Flint water crisis is interesting because it contains a large political and environmental justice component. It was a case of environmental pollution, political failure, institutional racism, outdated infrastructure, a disregard for public health, and corporate interests all wrapped up in one. The small city still suffers from the effects of this water crisis today, and solving it will require drastic changes to Flint’s water systems and political principles.
    The disaster occurred when the city opted to switch its water supply from Lake Huron owned by the city of Detroit to the polluted Flint River to cut costs. Flint, Michigan is an economically disadvantaged city with low income residents. As a result, the local governance was in pursuit of cost saving measures due to a financial crisis. However, changing the city’s water supply was a bad decision, as it turned out there were other costs attached to the transition. For example, it was found that in order for the polluted Flint River water to be used, it had to be treated with an anti corrosion agent that was supposed to prevent the city’s old lead pipes from seeping toxic chemicals into the water supply. This oversight was going to cost the city $100 a day, until local politicians opted to just forego using the anti-corrosive agent. As the water supply is switched, residents quickly realize how terribly dangerous their water has become. The city of Detroit even offered to waive the fee, so that Flint could return to the Lake Huron water supply. Flint city planners rejected this offer, citing that they had already sold their direct connection to the Lake Huron supply to another county. Shortly after, the true scope of the disaster becomes clear when an internal EPA report is leaked displaying toxic levels of lead coming from the faucet of a local woman’s home. That was followed by a report conducted by Virginia Tech researchers that find the same result in dozens of other homes, as well as doctors reporting increased cases of lead poisoning. Finally, the local governance gives in and requests federal assistance, while switching back to the Lake Huron supply. However, the corrosion left in the pipes from the Flint River still affects the residents even with the new water supply, and so does the discovery of Legionnaires disease bacteria in the water supply.
    Access to clean water is a basic human right, and a necessity for public health. Flint’s politicians failed to provide a basic human service, and as a result caused incredible harm within their community. The Flint River’s already polluted state was due to years of industrial pollution from nearby factories, and there had only been very poor efforts to improve water quality before the source was used. Flint’s status as a low-income community likely contributed to the lack of ecological restoration efforts in the area. Furthermore, Flint’s outdated water infrastructure only aggravated the crisis by adding toxic chemicals to the already polluted water. The neglect of Flint’s water infrastructure systems is yet another failure by the local governance to implement sound policies surrounding water quality.
    Of the solutions discussed in class, I believe the best three for addressing the water crisis in Flint, Michigan are the following:

    [Solution 9: Develop and enact better policies and regulations]
    Policies should promote ecological restoration efforts surrounding the Flint River, as well as introducing strict regulation on dumping in the river. Furthermore, the local water infrastructure needs to be updated and maintained more rigorously.

    [Solution 10/Solution 14: Holistically manage ecosystems and Address Pollution]
    Designating the local Flint River watershed as a pollution site, and creating a plan to mitigate/reverse the damage caused to the area is necessary. The local wetlands are essential to a healthy ecosystem and functioning water supply, so they should be protected.

    [Solution 11/Solution 15: Improve distribution infrastructure and Public common resources/equitable access]
    Flint’s residents need more political agency within their local government. A Clean Water Board, or committee could be created within Flint’s governance which deliberates on all public health concerns related to water quality. This committee/board would ideally be comprised of mainly local residents, who can make decisions based on the interest of the township.

    https://www.cnn.com/2016/04/20/health/flint-michigan-crisis-at-a-glance/index.html
    https://www.theverge.com/2016/2/26/11117022/flint-michigan-water-crisis-lead-pollution-history

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  19. As a lifelong resident of California and of the Bay Area, I have long known of the water crisis that our state has faced for many decades. Recently, water problems have only become more abundant as local watersheds are all seemingly drained of their water and practices such as agriculture that use most of our water supply are barely managing as well. This is due to the fact that California has been in a severe drought for years ranging from mild to heavily severe depending on the region of California. Although California seems as a very developed and technologically advanced location, more work could be done regarding the way we preserve what water is available and usable. Due to California being a pinnacle of tech development in our modern world, I believe that this state is definitely capable of developing new and effective technologies to recycle wastewater. This has been practiced in countries like Singapore, but we have seen little other than prototypes that highlight that the technology is reasonable and very possible. One such project that I have heard about was undertaken by Bill Gates himself who helped develop a means of converting sewage waste into fresh and even drinkable water. Although it may sound repulsive, this is actually an extremely safe and reasonable method to help offset the effects of the drought and to save water as a whole. Another big way to manage the water crisis of California would be to improve irrigation and agricultural practices of our state. California is known for its agriculture as we produce many supermarket style foods such as avocados and grapes for wine which consumes large amounts of water resources. Therefore, an improvement in the agricultural department would mean an overall improvement of California’s water situation overall. Lastly, I think the best general way to fight the water crisis would be to also address pollution itself. As pollution makes various water sources virtually unusable, it makes sense that it should be an aspect worth improving on. Not only does pollution affect water systems, it affects all aspects of our world and causes many problems not limited to water sources. Pollution is also a global problem so community awareness and government intervention to fight pollution would also help improve the water situation of California as well.

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  20. Water is a fundamental requirement for human life. Water is one of the natural rights of humans and despite its importance and availability we have a lot of water crisis. The consumption and use of water is very large and it can be a setback when misusing it at a site that has limited water access. Guatemala, Guatemala deeply suffers from access to clean water. Currently when using water to cook, drink or bath in, it must first be mixed with Bacdyn. Bacdyn is a disinfectant used to purify water so it’s safe to use and ingest. The only current solution to this problem is the incorporation of Bacdyn and it’s very frustrating to see a group of people having to live with these issues. In addition, some residents must walk miles to water wells to provide water for their families and for themselves. This constant travel to collect water for a day can be very draining, especially when that amount of water is limited. The water crisis has become so normalized and it’s time to implement some strategies that will help this site progress. After discussing 12 effective strategies that could improve the stress on water, I believe there are at least 3 strategies that could help Guatemela have a reliable water source. One effective strategy would be to recycle wastewater. Recycling wastewater will dismissed water imports that waste energy and cause pollution. The concern of many individuals is that the wastewater will not be cleaner than the current water, but wastewater will undergo filtrating systems that will allow this water to be used for agriculture, bathing, cooking, drinking etc. The second strategy I would make use of would be to create a water project that conserves water and manages the water. Yes, as a developing country Guatemala has water scarcity all over the country however there are regions in Guatemala more in need than others. Some regions of Guatemala are dryer causing reduced access. Therefore, this strategy will distribute water with a mentality of equity and not equality. This leads me into my third and last strategy, enacting better water regulations in Guatemala. Currently Guatemala has regulations and policies, but they aren’t implemented and they also contain many loopholes! These loopholes cause the misuse and overuse of water that overall affects the people. With this strategy the policies will protect affected regions and ensure clean water.

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  21. According to the World Resources Institute, India is one of the most water-challenged countries in the world (Shiao et. al, 2015). The Ganges River has been considered polluted for decades now. Though there have been various efforts to attempt to mitigate pollution and clean up the river dating back as far as 1986, there hasn’t been much success (Lodrick & Ahmed, 2018). There are “hundreds of millions” of people that live in close proximity to the river’s banks. This contributes immensely to the waste that gets dumped into the river. This waste includes untreated sewage, industrial waste, agricultural runoff, bodies from funeral pyres, and animal carcasses.

    There are estimates of almost “one billion liters of raw, untreated sewage are dumped in the river on a daily basis” (Wakefield, 2015). This is attributed to the rapid population growth over the past few decades as well as the lax regulations on industrial dumping. A severe lack of education coupled with ignorance is a major contributing factor as to why people will bathe and drink the same water that is polluted with carcasses, raw sewage, and toxins.

    The top three strategies that would help solve the Ganges River crisis are shrink corporate water footprints, address pollution, an educate to change consumption and lifestyles. The largest contributors to the pollution in the Ganges River are the corporations and industries. One example of industrial pollution is leather tanneries which line the banks of the river near Kanpur (Berke, 2018). The waste from dying the leather, which uses harsh chemicals, is dumped straight into the river without ever being treated. In order to address this issue, tougher regulations that can be enforced need to be put in place. This is just one of dozens of examples of untreated industrial waste being dumped into the river.

    Addressing pollution is the second strategy that needs to be used to combat this issue. It ties into the first but relates more to the general population surrounding the river. The people, specifically Hindus, believe in purifying the bodies of the dead in the river. A worker from a famous riverside cremation site in Varanasi was quoted “This same fire has been going for 3,000 years. We average anywhere from 30 to 100 bodies per day” (Conaway, 2015). Their caring extends more towards the goddess of the river, Ganga, than actually caring for the river. People who are poor and cannot afford this cremation will often just ump the bodies of their loved ones straight into the river. This sort of practice needs to be changed.

    Education is an important concept which also ties into mitigating the pollution. The people’s religion clashes with their understanding of how these dead bodies and their untreated sewage are poisoning their beloved river. There are many photos in the cited articles showing people bathing and drinking from the same water where dead bodies are seen floating in. The same water that looks brown and murky. As long as people are not made to understand how severely they are harming the river, the pollution will only continue to worsen and death tolls from the toxins of the river will continue to rise.

    References:

    Berke, J. 2018, Mar 3. India’s Holy Ganges River is devastatingly polluted, yet provides drinking water for over 400 million people – here’s what it looks like. Business Insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/photos-indias-ganges-river-pollution-2018-1

    Conaway, C. 2015, Sept 25. The Ganges River is Dying Under the Weight of Modern India. Newsweek. Retrieved from http://www.newsweek.com/2015/10/02/ganges-river-dying-under-weight-modern-india-375347.html

    Lodrink, D. O., Nafis Ahmad. 2018. Ganges River. Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/place/Ganges-River#ref326767

    Shiao, T., Andrew Maddocks, Chris Carson, Emma Loizeaux. 2015, Feb 26. 3 Maps Explain India’s Growing Water Crisis. World Research Institute. Retrieved from http://www.wri.org/blog/2015/02/3-maps-explain-india%E2%80%99s-growing-water-risks

    Wakefield, O. 2015. Ganges River Pollution. The Complete Guide to India. Retrieved from http://www.all-about-india.com/Ganges-River-Pollution.html

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