Scientists warn that Earth faces severe water shortages within a generation by Agence France-Presse, May 24, 2013, Raw Story
The majority of people on Earth will face severe water shortages within a generation or two if pollution and waste continues unabated, scientists warned at a conference in Bonn Friday. “This handicap will be self-inflicted and is, we believe, entirely avoidable,” read a document entitled The Bonn Declaration issued at the close of the four-day international huddle. The conference sought to assess the evidence of man’s impact on freshwater resources, which constitute only 2.5 percent of the total volume of water on Earth.
Currently, an estimated third of the world’s seven million people has limited access to adequate fresh water, according to conference delegates.
“In the short span of one or two generations, the majority of the nine billion people on Earth will be living under the handicap of severe pressure on fresh water,” said the declaration. The nine billion mark is widely projected to be reached from about 2040.
“We are flying the red flag out of our conference here,” Charles Vorosmarty, co-chairman of the Global Water System Project research body that hosted the meeting, said in a teleconference from Bonn.
“These self-inflicted wounds have long-term legacy effects that are not easy to turn around.”
Two-thirds of major river deltas are sinking due to groundwater extraction, and tens of thousands of large dams are distorting natural river flows on which ecosystems have depended for millennia. … Already, about a billion people around the world are dependent on finite water supplies being depleted at a fast rate, said Vorosmarty, who made a plea for more financial and technical resources for research. “We’re not making the requisite commitments to creating observational networks and satellite systems that can measure the state of water,” he said. “Increasingly, we are flying blind and finding it very difficult to figure where we are and where we’re going and whether the things we are doing are making a difference.” … Thirty percent of freshwater is stored underground in groundwater, which constitutes 97 percent of all freshwater potentially available for human use. About 0.3 percent is found in lakes and rivers. [Emphasis added]
[Refer also to:
Marcellus Watch: Judge’s ruling protects Corning aquifer April 1, 2013, Corning Leader While the craven New York State Legislature has been AWOL on vital gas drilling issues for years, state court judges, fortunately, have been quietly doing their job. Last week a state Supreme Court judge in Rochester smacked down efforts by a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell to purchase fresh water to frack its Pennsylvania gas wells from the financially down-and-out Village of Painted Post.
AEA: Support to the identification of potential risks for the environment and human health arising from hydrocarbons operations involving hydraulic fracturing in Europe ”A proportion (25% to 100%) of the water used in hydraulic fracturing is not recovered, and consequently this water is lost permanently to re-use, which differs from some other water uses in which water can be recovered and processed for re-use.” [Emphasis added]
A Primer for Understanding Canadian Shale Gas – Energy Briefing Note by National Energy Board, November 2009. “Drilling and hydraulically fracturing wells can be water-intensive procedures; however, there is very limited Canadian experience from which to estimate potential environmental impacts.” ….the rate of development of shale gas may become limited by the availability of required resources, such as fresh water…. ]