10 Facts about Water | b l o g o d r i l

22 March 2010

10 Facts about Water

Population and industrial growth add new sources of pollution and increased demand for clean water to the equation. Human and environmental health, drinking and agricultural water supplies for the present and future are at stake, still water pollution rarely warrants mention as a pressing issue.

Here are 10 facts about water that I quoted from UN's book: Water for Life Decade |2005-2015| :

1. Scarcity: By 2025, it is expected that 3.4 billion people will be living in countries defined as water-scarce.

2. Food: It takes about 3,000 litres of water to produce our daily food ration, about 1,000 times what we need for drinking purposes.

3. Environment: Water-related disasters such as tsunamis, floods and droughts are the second most frequent and devastating natural disasters after windstorms.

4. Disaster prevention: Between 1991 and 2000, over 665,000 people died in 2,557 natural disasters, of which 90 per cent were water-related events.

5. Energy: Hydropower supplies at least 50 per cent of electricity production in 66 countries, and 19 per cent in 24 countries. Worldwide, small hydropower development is expected to grow by a further 60 per cent by 2010.

6. Transboundarywater issues: One hundred and forty-five nations have territory within a transboundary basin, and 21 lie entirely within one. In the last half century, approximately 200 treaties have been signed concerning transboundary water basins.

7. Culture: In nearly all the world’s major religions, water is attributed important symbolic and ceremonial properties.

8. Sanitation: One dollar invested in water supply and sanitation can provide an economic return of up to 34 times, depending on the region.

9. Pollution: In developing countries, more than 90 per cent of sewage and 70 per cent of industrial wastewater is dumped untreated into surface water.

10. Agriculture: Irrigation increases yields of most crops by 100 to 400 per cent. Over the next 30 years, 70 per cent of gains in cereal production will come from irrigated land.

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