Saturday, July 13, 2013

Solving The Global Water Crisis

by David M Shrauger

Imagine for a moment that you do not have a sink, any kind of faucet to deliver water to you. Imagine that the only water that you have access to is not clear and pristine, but slightly brown and smelling rank. Imagine that you go to the store and there are no bottles of water for sale.

You may need to imagine it, but for millions in the developing world this is everyday life. This is the face of the global water crisis. According to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Report, 11 percent of the global population does not have reliable access to clean drinking water.

When one in ten people do not have access to one of the prerequisites for human survival, crisis is a word that does not do the situation justice.

Although it does not get as much attention in the media as other issues throughout the world, the global water crisis is one of the most urgent problems that the developing world is facing. It is so serious that the crisis is only made worse by many efforts to make it better.

One of the answers has been chemical treatment of water to make it safer to drink, but according to the EPA fact sheet on groundwater contamination the manufacturing processes can contaminate drinkable water even as it creates a product meant to combat the problem.

Even such locations as sewer treatment facilities can release chemicals that make drinking water more dangerous.

The global water crisis is not only a problem for the developing world, but one that will be even more intense in the developed world, that has a lifestyle of excess and overuse. A typical commercial office building can consume up to 10 billion gallons of fresh water every day.

To give an idea of the scope of this use, it is equivalent to the amount of water that goes over Niagra Falls in four hours. There are many reasons for this conspicuous consumption, but one of the largest culprits are building HVAC systems.

Building and maintaining a environmentally friendly HVAC system is just one way that a business can make a difference in the disproportionate water consumption in the world. There are also environmentally friendly flush free urinals that use gravity alone to flush away the waste.

Environmentally green water reclamation systems can make water safe to use again without resorting to treating the water with harsh chemicals.

Although the challenges that the Global Water Crisis presents us with is formidable, it is a problem that can be mitigated by thoughtful application of the technology available to us.

David Shrauger is a Freelance writer from Seattle, WA. Read more articles from this writer at

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