Got Water?

posted in: Ape Con Myth, Maps 0

Without the water management schemes we’ve implemented, such as dams, pipelines and other means of securing water supplies, this is what the state of water security in the world would look like…

Aside from India and China, whose situation doesn’t improve much in the next example, the “natural” picture above does not look so great for the United States and much less so for Europe.  Yet below, when we look at the “managed” state of things, the U.S. and Europe are shored up while the tables are turned for the worse in Africa.

Unsurprisingly, it’s the lack of money in poorer nations perpetuating the lack of water.  (That and the notion that they should be more environmental sound about their improvements, unlike in developed countries where water security often comes at the cost of nature in general.)  There is, however, some good news for Africa.  A new study has revealed a huge reservoir of groundwater totaling over 100 times the volume of water found above ground.  The catch is it’s not a renewable source, as these aquifers were last filled over 5,000 years ago.

The key will be using these hidden resources to cover deficiencies in the short term while sustainable solutions for the future are put into place.  It doesn’t sound like the best job to give to humans, but so it goes.  To complicate matters worse, who knows what the picture will look like as climate change continues to usher us into the unknown.  If all of our efforts so far have still left 80% of the world’s population with an insecure supply of the one liquid we can’t live without, <insert smart-ass comment about priorities without using the word ‘stupid’>.

[World/Africa maps via BBC (Thanks, Paul!); Water security study from Nature, African groundwater study from IOPscience]

Fracking, Not Frakking

The kids are always talking about propagating fractures in rock layers to release the natural gas trapped underneath, but what is “fracking” all about?  Thankfully someone has made a beautiful website to quickly walk you through the entire process…

Why should you care?  Because fracking got an exemption in the Safe Drinking Water Act, despite the hazardous stew it leaves underground.  Also, there already happens to be bills stagnating in Congress to take the exemption away.  Let’s go ahead and take care of this very specific little oversight.  Go direct to taking action here or enjoy Linda Dong‘s site, Dangers of Fracking, which will take you to the action and further resources at the end.

[via Daring Fireball]

Global Water Summary Info

It’s too bad UN-Water didn’t make it in our initial Google results for “water” (it’s the 64th result) because if you have a few minutes and a desire to understand the global water situation, the links to all the information you need are on one page.

In addition to their statistics page, UN-Water has three flagship publications:

What’s the story?  From skimming 500 pages of pdfs, it was largely what you’d expect.  Developing countries are making progress, but have a long way to go.  Increasing populations, advancing economies, climate change and lack of information, communication and funding are just a few of the factors involved.  Billions of people are still without the basics and while Africa and Asia house the areas furthest behind, there’s plenty of trouble spots in the most developed of countries and economies.

Although the challenges are great, it is important to remember that this is not a problem in search of a solution.  For the most part, it is a lame-duck problem waiting for the implementation of solutions already in hand.  That’s why the World Water Development Report focuses our attention on decision-making:

That’s the finish line for this week’s water sprint.  Next steps include digging into some country-level data, where we’ll really start to see what the hold-up is, and updating/expanding on our first water map.

International Water

Four links to international water organizations quickly turn into the pile below with a little looking.  If you include UN-Water’s members and partners and UNESCO-IHP’s Water Centres, we probably have before us what could be called most of the border pieces of the water puzzle.

Now the question becomes, is that too many organizations or not enough?  No, wait.  What’s the problem again?

“Water” Results – Round 2

Okay, here’s our top 50 “water’ results minus what we don’t need and organized by type of source:

Next step?  Skim, expand and reorganize…

Getting a Handle on the Water Situation

So far Ape Con Myth has put together a few pieces of the water puzzle.  Now it’s time to start dumping the rest of the box out on the table.  And what better way to do that then with a Google search.

Here’s the first 50 results for “water”:

  1. Water – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  2. Properties of water – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  3. Home – World Water Day
  4. USGS Water Science for Schools: All about water!
  5. USGS Water Resources of the United States
  7. HowStuffWorks “How Water Works”
  8. charity: water
  9. Index | Water | US EPA
  10. DS Waters of America, Inc.; Home & Office Bottled Water Delivery Plans
  11. Water (2005) – IMDb
  12. The Water Cycle
  13. water news and articles
  14. Brad Paisley – Water
  15. World Water Council
  16. (Water) on Twitter
  17. Water
  18. Water | Define Water at
  19. WATER: Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual – Home
  20. EPA Environmental Kids Club – Water
  21. Brad Paisley – Water
  22. Water: How much should you drink every day? –
  23. Water Environment Federation: The Water Quality People
  24. Fox Searchlight – Water – Official Site
  25. Home | World Bank – Water
  26. Water
  27. Water | United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural…
  28. Water | Environment |
  29. Why Drinking Water Is the Way to Go
  30. Water: H2O = Life | American Museum of Natural History
  31. Water – Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
  32. ScienceDirect – Water Research, Volume 45, Issue 10, Pages 3015…
  33. FIJI Water
  34. Scientific American: Water
  35. The World’s Water
  36. Trailer for Deepa Mehta’s OSCAR-nominated film WATER
  37. FEMA: Water
  38. ScienceDaily: Water Conservation News
  39. >> Water Facts
  40. Water and Ice
  41. USA Water Polo United States Water Polo
  42. American Water Corporate
  43. Water footprint and virtual water
  44. NRDC: Water
  45. WHO| Water
  46. Good: Water
  47. Water
  48. WQA, water quality, NSF certified, certification, filtration
  49. Living Water International | Living Water International
  50. water – Wiktionary

While looking up “water” in Wikipedia wouldn’t be enough, searching for it on Google provides more than we need.  In this first round, 21 of the results have been crossed out for being unrelated or useless to our research.  Next comes a little organization…

The Necessities –> Water –> Drought

posted in: Ape Con Myth, Input, Maps 0


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