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The death of water, an essential element for life and development

The death of water, an essential element for life and development


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Responsible water consumption was already one of the highlights in the celebration of the 2015 WFD at the initiative of the UN itself, which in its most recent reports warns that, if current patterns of consumption and production, as well as population growth, continue By the year 2030, the world will demand 30% more water compared to what we currently use.

A basic element to control this consumption is the measurement of the water footprint, which quantifies the total volume of fresh water consumed, evaporated or contaminated and can be ascertained with respect to individuals, companies or communities.

Companies specializing in sustainable water technologies such as Dow Water & Process Solutions calculate the average water footprint of a Spanish citizen at 6,700 liters per day, well above the global average of 3,794, which includes not only that used for drinking, cooking or washing but the one that has been used to generate goods.

It is estimated that to produce each cup of coffee you need about 140 liters of water, 1,800 liters for a potato omelette and around 20,000 to make a computer.

In fact, the economy is so linked to water that the Minister of Economy, Employment and Finance of the Community of Madrid Engracia Hidalgo recalled at the XI Water Forum held at the Canal Foundation this week that "three out of four jobs depend on greater or lesser extent ”of access to this resource.

Situation in Spain

In Spain, the use of water and its associated space as public domain assets is controlled by the authorizations and concessions granted by the administration.

A recent report published by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (MAGRAMA) warns that a water management system typical of the XXI century must not only be effective to ensure supply but must be sustainable to guarantee "economic progress , social development and the conservation of our habitats and ecosystems ”.

According to this document, the water governance system in our country is “an example of success” due to its ability to adapt to the environment “from a government system based on planning, public participation and technological development and innovation ”to meet both the challenge of scarcity and flooding.

Regarding the state and quality of the liquid element, the Water Framework Directive is in charge of fixing and conserving this resource, which the MAGRAMA data estimate reaches 111,000 cubic hectometres per year in Spain.

For the control of water, the Basin Hydrological Plans are especially important: for this reason the Government approved at the beginning of January of this year a Royal Decree to review the 12 intercommunity river basin districts (including the Eastern Cantabrian) and another of 4 intracommunity river basin districts (3 of Andalusian autonomic competence and that of Galicia Coast).

Various activities

Among the water-related initiatives designed to celebrate the WFD, the Aquae Foundation has launched several proposals: since the launch of Aquae Hub -a new interactive platform for mobile devices that can be downloaded for free on iTunes and Google Play from this Sunday-, until the announcement of the INNOVA awards as well as a new scholarship program.

Barcelona will host on June 13 and 14 the conference on water reuse in Europe within the DEMOWARE project, the largest of its kind at present, since 27 institutions from 10 European countries including Spain participate where technological developments will be presented in the sector.

In the Valencian Community, Aigües de Cullera organized this week in collaboration with the City Council of this coastal town and with Interlab - a laboratory dedicated to the analysis of water for human consumption - a blind tasting of water to learn to distinguish between bottled water, those captured in wells or those generated by desalination plants, among others.

In Jerez, the Aquajerez municipal service management company designed an open day to show the media how the remote control of the El Portal treatment plant, responsible for the city's supply and sewerage network, works.

Overexploitation

These and other activities organized these days seek to make citizens, administrations and companies aware of the true risk of resource depletion due to overexploitation or contamination, as shown by the cases of the Aral Sea or Lake Poopó, true recent ecological catastrophes.

In the Aral Sea, located in Central Asia between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, Soviet water reuse policies for irrigation since the 1960s have progressively and dramatically reduced what was one of the four largest lakes in the world with an area of 68,000 square kilometers: today, 95% of its reservoirs and wetlands are desert and more than 50 lakes in its deltas are dry.

Worse is what happened with the Poopó, until very recently the second largest lake in Bolivia after Titicaca, where the combination of meteorological phenomena such as El Niño with mining pollution and intensive agriculture has drained the area completely: a photograph taken by NASA in April 2013 showed it full of water and a second image captured in January 2016 confirmed that today it is completely dry.

In Spain, an example of the problems generated by mismanagement that leads to the overexploitation of water resources occurred in the Tablas de Daimiel National Park (Ciudad Real), where at the end of August 2009 an underground fire was detected before the water deficit, extracted in excess for use in crops.

By November of that year, the situation was officially defined as "very serious" despite the emergency measures taken by the administrations, although finally the problem could be controlled and eliminated thanks to the abundant rains of the winter of 2009/2010, which they flooded the area again.Ecoportal.net

Efeverde


Video: Pope Francis: Water the most essential element for life (July 2022).


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