Position Paper on EMF’s focus in the World Water issue, 2004
1. Fresh Water Scarcity
a. The global annual renewable and for humanity accessible fresh water supply on this planet is approximately net 12,000 km3 per year whilst present withdrawal for human use is about 4,000 km3 per year. So, globally, no scarcity.
b. The annual renewable water supply originates from evaporation of seawater from the world’s oceans. In fact our planet is the largest solar energy driven desalination unit on earth with an output of + 45,000 KM3/year or + 130 billion m3/day.
c. Due to substantial variations in climate, seasons and population density, regional accessible water availability is far away from the global average. The result is that in a great many specific part of the world there is severe scarcity, mainly in developing countries. In 2000 an estimated 1.1 billion people lacked access to safe water supply and 2.4 billion to proper sanitation. If nothing is done these numbers will increase in the next decades.
d. Global water withdrawal for human use covers drinking and sanitation water (+ 10%), irrigation water (+ 70%) and water for industry (+ 20%). These percentages differ greatly per region.
e. All over the world groundwater levels are decreasing, leading to salinity, and rivers and lakes are being depleted and polluted as regional withdrawals are exceeding renewable supply. Meanwhile, economic and ecological costs for securing fresh water are increasing.
2. What is being done about it?
Read the full article from Op Zoek here in pdf.Additional Resources for Achieving the MDG for Water