Water scarcity will be one of the defining features of the 21st century. The U.N. predicts that by 2025 two thirds of the world’s population will suffer water shortages. Here CNN takes a look at what we do with the water we can drink.
There is a deep disconnect between what people care about and what the government is willing to act on. From agricultural pollution to industrial waste to pollution stemming from sprawl and urban runoff, a lack of political will means poor planning and scarce funding and ultimately leads to pollution that begins upstream and ends up at the tap.1
Its been a long time since our Water was pure. Starting in the 1760s in England, when manufacturing became mechanized. Water, steam, wood, and coal powered machines forever changed a number of industries, and suddenly small towns became large cities as people flocked to factories to find work.
iPhones, self-driving cars, and designer clothing wouldn’t exist if not for the Industrial Revolution; historians use it as a time stamp for the transition between the early modern and modern periods.
As wealth increased nearly across the board, the economic standard of living rose dramatically along with the average life expectancy.
But the Industrial Revolution came at a cost to water quality and overall health.
1) Water (H2o) is Nature’s remedy – the premium fuel your body needs.
All the important juices of the body are composed of fluids, of which water is the basis. Not only is the blood, which is the very essence of physical life, composed largely of water, but also the bile, the gastric juices, the pancreatic fluid and all the other juices of the digestive organs, as well as the saliva, or fluids of which water is the basis.
It is hard to believe that two decade ago the thought of buying bottled water seemed ludicrous. Today, average price in the US is $2 per liter verses approximately .0005 cents at the tap – and there is really no difference.
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), originally passed by Congress in 1974 to protect public health by regulating the nation’s public drinking water supply, is the main federal law that ensures the quality of Americans’ drinking water.
Under SDWA, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets standards for drinking water quality and oversees the states, localities, and water suppliers who implement those standards.
In 1976 when the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), our nation’s main chemical safety law was passed, 62,000 chemicals were already in use. All of these chemicals were grandfathered by TSCA; that means they were simply presumed to be safe, and EPA was given no mandate to determine whether they are actually safe. Even to require testing of these chemicals under TSCA, EPA must first provide evidence that the chemical may pose a risk – a toxic Catch-22.