Technology to Quench ‘Thirst’ for Freshwater? – Part 1
Posted on: February 20, 2019.

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What could be more important to sustain human life on Earth than freshwater? Water, not food, is quintessential to survival, and the pangs of thirst cripple faster than that of hunger. But then, even food sources require freshwater to grow and proliferate.

Scarcity of freshwater is the direct impact of global climate change and ever-increasing population of the human race—7.6 billion people and counting! The sad plight of critical water shortage in urban centres around the world, like Cape Town in South Africa, and Sao Paulo in Brazil, is funnelling the focus of global news media.

The survival of humanity is rapidly turning into a major issue in communities across the world, in the face of escalating water scarcity and various forms of pollution. Communities worldwide are now looking to technology—and its seemingly ‘magic’ techniques—to facilitate access to alternate sources of freshwater, or create new freshwater sources…

Need for Freshwater

Potable, clean, drinking water—the lifeblood of all earthly living forms—is obviously of paramount importance among the three basic human ‘needs’, others being food and shelter.

70% water is what most plants and animals are made up of, and most of them cannot survive for long without water, for only a few days perhaps, except a few organisms that are specially adapted for survival in dry conditions. Critical inaccessibility to natural or irrigated sources of freshwater, observe various research organizations, is herding a billion people and countless billions of animals and plants into the danger zone.

There was a place once known as ‘City of Drizzle’ which is today Sao Paulo, Brazil (not Seattle, United States), one of many arid regions around the world, such as United Arab Emirates and Iran, which is witnessing the rapid spread of water crisis, torn between overuse, climate change, and contamination.

Heavy demands on regional water supplies is being accentuated by a proportionately heavy demand for agricultural meat, owing to the shifting tastes of growing populations, while availability for the same amount of drinking water continues to be demanded by an equally massive population. The “water footprint” of a pound of beef can be hundreds of times more gallons than that of a pound of grain like corn, rice, or wheat.

The BBC reports that the global demand for water is projected to increase by 55% between 2000 and 2050. Agriculture, which accounts for 70% of global freshwater use, drives much of the demand, and food production will need to grow by 69% by 2035 to feed the growing population. The amount of water required by energy-supplying power stations for cooling purposes, is also expected to increase by over 20%. In other words, the near future presents heavy freshwater drains one-after-the-other…

…continued in the next part

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