Water Stress: A Global Problem That’s Getting Worse
Billions of people around the world lack adequate access to one of the essential elements of life: clean water. Although governments and aid groups have helped many living in water-stressed regions gain access in recent years, the problem is projected to get worse with the harmful effects of global warming and population growth.
Water stress can differ dramatically from one place to another, in some cases causing wide-reaching damage, including to public health, economic development, and global trade. It can also drive mass migrations and spark conflict. Now, pressure is mounting on countries to implement more sustainable and innovative practices and to improve international cooperation on water management.
The recycling industry in America is broken
There is a vast divide between the misleading, popular notion of recycling as a “solution” to the American over consumption problem and the darker reality of recycling as a failing business model.
Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. According to The National Museum of American History, this popular slogan, with its iconic three arrows forming a triangle, embodied a national call to action to save the environment in the 1970s. In that same decade, the first Earth Day happened, the EPA was formed and Congress passed the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, encouraging recycling and conservation of resources, Enviro Inc. reported.
‘Sacrifice zones’: How people of color are targets of environmental racism
The Black Lives Matter movement and the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted how systemic racism disproportionately places danger and harm on low-income and minority populations.
One harsh reality of this systemic racism is the existence of “sacrifice zones,” which are communities located near pollution hot spots that have been permanently impaired by intensive and concentrated industrial activity, such as factories, chemical plants, power plants, oil and gas refineries, landfills and factory farms.
Toxic PAH air pollutants from fossil fuels ‘multiply’ in sunlight
When power stations burn coal, a class of compounds called Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, or PAHs, form part of the resulting air pollution. Researchers have found that PAHs toxins degrade in sunlight into ‘children’ compounds and by-products.
Some ‘children’ compounds can be more toxic than the ‘parent’ PAHs. Rivers and dams affected by PAHs are likely contaminated by a much larger number of toxins than are emitted by major polluters, researchers show in Chemosphere.
Younos: Imperatives in water management, 2021-2030
We’ve just entered the third decade of the 21st century and it’s an appropriate time to make our new decade resolutions. What problems we want and need to address, and what do we want to achieve and accomplish?
To move forward, first we need to look back and remind ourselves why we are here and how we got here. Our thinking and values have evolved over time – decades and sometimes generations.
The 18th century Industrial Revolution resulted in the emergence of high-population urban centers and an agricultural sector which demanded more water and energy.