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May Chua

on 6 August 2014

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Transcript of Water

Water Scarcity and Its Consequences
1. Insufficient
drinking water
→ More than 1.2 billion people worldwide lack access to clean drinking water
→ 200 million people in Asia water stressed
2. Inadequate access to water for
sanitation and waste disposal
for 2.5 billion people
→ 3.4 million people die from waterborne diseases annually equivalent to entire Los Angeles

Water Scarcity and Its Consequences
Economic Loss
Loss in productivity
---dehydration is one of the major causes of morbidity
People are more focused on day-to-day survival
loss in educational opportunities: estimated 443 million school days are lost each year due to water-related illness
Importance of water
Water is essential for life
can survive only 3 days without water
Supports Biodiversity
fresh waters make up less than 1% of the Earth’s surface, but contain over 10% of all known species
Energy Production and Transmission
Nuclear, Thermal, hydroelectric, biofuels
Production of goods
most goods require water
metals, wood, paper, chemicals, gasoline, oils

Growing Problems
1. Climate Change
Affect availability and distribution of precipitation, further deteriorate water quality
droughts caused by rising temperatures

2. Pollution
toxic chemicals, dirt, trash and disease-carrying organisms
leads to loss of biodiversity

Loss in Biodiversity
Growing Problems
Population Growth
Increase in demand
Overuse --- e.g. Excessive groundwater drafting, which may lead to ground subsidence (Mexico)
Projection by World Economic Forum: Within the next 15-20 years, 40% water global shortfall, trigger global food crisis, with shortfalls of up to 30% in cereal production
Far-reaching Impacts
1. Regional conflicts over scarce water resources in warfare
Jordan River conflict among Israel, Lebanon, Jordan and the State of Palestine
Africa (Nile River-related conflicts among Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan)
Central Asia (the Aral Sea conflict among Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan)

Limitations of Current Measures
1. Most solutions are expensive--- require heavy investments in infrastructure and costly maintenence
e.g. desalination---also highly energy intensive, lethal saline byproduct causes further pollution
pipe systems--- usually privatized, water becomes too expensive for locals

2. People's attitudes
people may not have adequate knowledge to maintain water systems installed in their community
systems fall into disrepair

1. Eutrophication
Increased turbidity in Caspian Sea
Increasing red algae in Florida, USA which contain nerve poison killing manatees at rate of 2 a day

1. On average, every US dollar invested in water and sanitation provides an economic return of eight US dollars

2. Access to credit was found to play a significant role in triggering household sanitation investments

3. Simple technologies:
water storage systems, small scale irrigation, wind- powered pumps

A Problem of Access
Khiam Wee, Mingxin, May
Full transcript