Southern California is in the midst of the worst drought since the 1800’s and except for a call to reduce water usage you might not know the urgency of the situation. On the surface, everything is pretty amazing.
Except, it is not. Water is a big issue with big problems on the table— right now.
- By 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in water scarcity.
- Currently, one in nine people (about 780 million men, women, and children) lives without access to clean drinking water, and nearly 3.4 million people die from water-related diseases every year.
- More people worldwide have cell phones than toilets.
- American use more water flushing toilets than any other use.
A Few Promising Resolutions
Water desalination technology has been around for some time but the technology is becoming more efficient, possibly making it part of the water solution. Many countries, such as Chile, Saudi Arabia, and Israel have turned to the ocean as a water source and now the US is soon to follow.
New technologies are gaining support and the largest desalination plant in the world is now under construction along the San Diego coast, with a scheduled completion date of sometime in 2016. Once operational, it will offset about 7% of our water usage.
Another technology changing the world’s water supply is nanotechnology purification. This technology has the ability to remove extremely small chemical components, like lead and arsenic, and has the potential to improve the water in underdeveloped countries, rural areas, and areas recovering from severe storms or other catastrophes affecting the water supply.
Finally, another technology may provide a solution, at least in watering crops and livestock, though the idea may seem a bit distasteful for human consumption. One of the newest water developments is coming out of Michigan State University. Researchers there have developed technology that will take something in abundance, cow manure, and turn it into potable water. Cow manure is mostly made of water and 100 gallons of manure can yield 50 gallons of clean water.
No one solution will be the answer, but together these technologies are showing real promise in easing our water concerns.