Geography

World environmental issues


The exact amount of water on the planet is 1,332 cubic kilometers, according to the US Geological Survey Institute.

About 72% of our planet is covered by water, but 97.5% of all this water is salty, coming from the seas and oceans - water that is not potable.


Not all fresh water on the planet is available for human consumption.

The oceans have a layer of 24,000 kilometers around the Earth, with an average depth of 3.2 kilometers. It seems to be a lot of water, but it really isn't. Experts compare the situation with an apple - if our planet were an apple, water would be equivalent to the peel of the fruit.

Drinking water is all water available for consumption in nature and has characteristics and substances that pose no risk to living beings who consume it, such as animals and men. Water, under normal temperature and pressure, predominantly liquid, colorless, odorless and tasteless, is indispensable to all forms of life.


Water is essential for our survival, so its protection is critical.

The planet's drinking water is separated as follows:

  • 70% is frozen;
  • 1% is accessible for immediate consumption;
  • 6 countries (Brazil, Canada, Russia, Indonesia, China and Colombia) have 50% of all freshwater reserves on the planet;
  • One third of the population lives in countries that consume more water than the country offers.

This water is available to the entire population, whether rural or urban. In the rural environment, there is no early treatment of this feature. However, in urban centers it is almost always necessary to check the quality and degree of contamination, since in the vicinity of cities streams and rivers are extremely polluted.


Scheme of a water treatment plant

Agriculture is the sector that most uses water resources, mainly for irrigation. About 70% of world use goes to the agricultural sector. This stems from the still misguided management of resources. Few countries invest in irrigation models suited to the new times of water saving. Only Europe consumes more water in the industrial sector.


Irrigation accounts for 72% of water consumption in Brazil

According to the World Bank, about 80 countries will clash over water resources. Rivers that cross countries represent essential sources of supply. In some areas of the planet, conflicts already exist and are mixed with other reasons, such as political-religious, ethnic, energy issues, among others.


Water world map

Africa is the continent with the largest water availability problem in the world. Less than 50% of the continent's population currently has access to safe drinking water.

In the underdeveloped world, about 50% of the population consumes polluted water; At least 2.2 million people worldwide die from untreated contaminated water. According to estimates, there are currently about 1.1 billion people who have virtually no access to drinking water, which is common to all human beings.


Africa's water scarcity and lack of access to clean water

Pollution is one of the biggest problems in drinking water, as the world's water sources receive two million tons of various types of waste daily.


Water pollution

On this issue, those who suffer the most from these are the excluded strata living in underdeveloped or developing countries.

Among other consequences, poor water quality causes disease in the population. Today, for example, 8.5 million children die each year worldwide from diarrhea caused by direct contact with sewage-contaminated water. Most of these deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, where 65% of the population has no access to sanitation.


Africa's water scarcity and lack of access to clean water

Water saving tips

There is an urgent need for solutions to the lack of access to safe drinking water in the world. Do your part!

- Reduce shower time. Instead of taking a 10 minute shower, decrease to 5 minutes. This will save you 30 to 80 liters of water for each bath. Also, if the shower is electric, it will save electricity, which also weighs in your pocket.

- Do not throw trash into the toilet, as this contributes to increased water consumption.

- When you need to wash a car, use a bucket. Washing the car with a hose can take over 500 liters of water in 30 minutes.

- Fill the sink to scrub the plates and cutlery. The economy will be 10 liters of water per day.

- To defrost meat and other foods, do not use the tap. Ideally, let them thaw in the refrigerator.

- When washing vegetables and fruits, use a bowl and a vegetable brush to remove dirt.

- Do not use the garden hose to sweep up leaves and other sidewalk debris. The correct is to use a broom.

- Washing machines and dishes should be used fully filled. With this, the frequency of use is lower and there is less waste of water and energy.

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Universal Declaration of Water Rights

March 22 - World Water Day

World Water Day was instituted by the UN and aims to raise awareness of this valuable substance.

On March 22, 1992, the UN - United Nations instituted World Water Day and issued the Universal Declaration of Water Rights, which is ordered in ten articles. Here are some excerpts from this statement:

Universal Declaration of Water Rights

1- Water is part of the planet's heritage;
2- Water is the sap of our planet;
3- The natural resources for transforming water into drinking water are slow, fragile and very limited;
4- The balance and future of our planet depends on the preservation of water and its cycles;
5- Water is not only inheritance from our predecessors; above all, it is a loan to our successors;
6- Water is not a free gift from nature; it has economic value: one must know that it is sometimes rare and expensive and may well be scarce anywhere in the world;
7- THE water should not be wasted or polluted or poisoned;
8- Water use implies respect for the law;
9- Water management imposes a balance between the imperatives of its protection and the economic, sanitary and social needs;
10- Water management planning must take into account solidarity and consensus because of its unequal distribution over the earth.