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Water Usage

Water, water everywhere

It may sound strange that with more flooding we need to better conserve water. All water used in the UK, whether for washing up, for the toilet, washing cars or any number of industrial processes uses water that is drinking water quality.

Compare that with many parts of the world, where millions of people are suffering because they do not get access to fresh potable drinking water.

The environmental principle Water Control relate to better understanding of the water cycle (below). Each person in the UK uses 36 litres per day just flushing the toilet, this water has to be treated in order for it to return to our supply. In the developing world 75% of people lack adequate sanitary facilities.

Water Cycle

About 500 billion gallons of surface water, and a larger unknown amount, are locked up in the minerals that form the mantle of the earth.

This water is a finite resource moving in never ending cycles across the earth. Very little of the water on earth is available as fresh water.

Two-thirds of the surface of the earth is covered by water, 97% of, which is salty, and approximately 2% is trapped in the polar ice caps. Only 1% of all water is contained in the air, rivers, lakes and underground.

Increasingly, parts of the world are getting more and more water (NW Europe) while other parts (N Africa) are getting less and less.

Partly this is due to climate change, but also due to the movement of "virtual water". About "20 Niles" worth of water are being moved from Africa to Europe each year as fresh vegetables and other foods. More EPT/water2.html

Water Wars?
The global availability of this small amount of freshwater together with continuous contamination from human activities make preservation of the supply of freshwater one of the major global issues.

With water being such a precious commodity without which life on earth could not exist measures need to be taken to ensure that all fresh water supplies remain safe to drink, and that all people have access to fresh water. Many countries are defined by their river border with another country, making these seriouos sources of future conflict. Water Aid

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