World's fresh water systems in trouble : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

Report: Water Systems in Trouble

By John Flesher Associated Press Writer Saturday, Oct. 21, 2000; 11:23 p.m. EDT

EAST LANSING, Mich.  Fresh water systems around the world are so environmentally degraded they are losing their ability to support human, animal and plant life, according to a report released Saturday.

Their decline will mean increased water shortages for people and rapid population loss or extinction for many other species, the World Resources Institute predicted.

"The findings are very disturbing," said Jonathan Lash, president of the Washington, D.C.-based policy research center. "We're just using way more water than the earth can afford to give us."

The report is part of a comprehensive study by the institute on how human activity is changing the world's ecosystems. It was released during the national meeting of the Society of Environmental Journalists at Michigan State University.

The report makes no recommendations but serves as a warning to citizens, industries and government, Lash said. He described it as a "physical exam" that produced a poor diagnosis for the patient. Over the next six months, specialized reports will be issued on agroecosystems, coastal areas, forests and grasslands.

While many regions have ample water supplies, four out of every 10 people live in river basins with water scarcity, the report says.

It predicts that by 2025, at least 3.5 billion people  roughly half the world's population  will experience water shortages.

Only about 1 percent of the water on the planet is fresh water available for human use, Lash said. Agriculture accounts for 93 percent of fresh water use, producing runoff that degrades water quality with silt and chemicals, the report says.

Dams, diversions or canals fragment 60 percent of the world's largest rivers, trapping runoff and sediments. While dam construction has slowed in the United States, the report says many more are being built in the basins of the Yangtze River in China, the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in the Middle East, and the Danube River in Eastern Europe.

Also being depleted is the world's groundwater, the sole source of drinking water for 1.5 billion people, the report says.

Half the world's wetlands were lost in the 20th Century as land was converted to agricultural and urban use or contaminated with diseases such as malaria, according to the report.

Invasive species pose another problem, competing with native species for food and habitat. Twenty percent of the world's 10,000 fresh water fish species have become extinct, threatened or endangered in recent decades.

The findings are bad news for the environment and the economy, said Carmen Revenga, who helped write the institute's report.

"We need to value fresh water ecosystems not only for the goods they produce, like fish and clams, but also the services they give, like the filters and nurseries that wetlands provide," Revenga said.

-- But fear not (Decker says@market forces.will solve the problem), October 22, 2000



Society of Environmental Journalists at Michigan State University.

Not to downplay the importance of the subject, but what word in the quoted statement bothers you. For me it is Journalist

I think that I will wait for the movie.

Best wishes,,,,


-- Z1X4Y7 (, October 22, 2000.

You are in the movie piss-ant!!!

-- jkzsdfg2 (strange@days.indeed), October 22, 2000.

Howdy Hawk:

When are going to post under your own name again.

Best wishes,,,,


-- Z1X4Y7 (, October 22, 2000.

Z1X, who do you work for? Con-Agra, Cargill, Premium Standard Farms?

This has been predicted for several years, it's just now that anyone is paying attention. Did you know it takes enough water to float a battle ship to raise a beef from brith to slaughter? And the massive feed lots are draining the aquifers, and the millions of tons of manure flung on fields are polluting streams and lakes, and we haven't even touched on all the water used in other industries.

-- gilda (, October 23, 2000.

There was a story on the local news the other night about all the closed gas stations in and around Duval County (161 at last count, just in our county!). The tanks are left behind, buried in the ground, when a station closes. The tank ends up deteriorating and then leaking the leftover gasoline into the ground water. There's a huge effort going on in our county now to clean these up.

If there's 161 of these closed gas stations in my neighborhood, how many thousands are all over the country??? Seems like a fairly large problem to me.....


-- Deano (, October 24, 2000.

Would Canada would be a natural market for water?

-- Canadians (, October 25, 2000.

"Not to downplay the importance of the subject...

I think that I will wait for the movie."

Come on now, Z,

Won't you grace us with an opinion or prognostication on the matter?

Pretty please?

Here are some more water musings by - {wait a minute... Z - avert your eyes -} *journalists*:

"Droughts come and go, but growing demand for water remains"

Below is an article which was recommended on Timebomb Classic. It deals with the geopolitical aspects of fresh water:

{Be forewarned, it's by those "*NITWIT LIBERAL ARTS MAJORS*" over at the Atlantic Monthly}

"The Coming Anarchy"

-- flora (***@__._), October 25, 2000.

The environment is degrading at an alarming rate, but don't ask George Bush to help. He questions whether auto emissions have anything to do with ozone depletion.

-- Bush is an Idiot (, October 25, 2000.

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