Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 18

CEC ANDR-CHAVANNE

The importance of
Water
Rafael Ramirez, Jilian Lamprecht

Rafael Ramirez, Jilian LamprechtThe importance of water

6/5/2016

Table of Contents

I.

Introduction

II.

How can we use water more efficiently and what effects


would it have ?
p. 3

III.

How can we restore and protect water sources - Las


Vegas
p. 7

IV.

In which ways can we teach small local and isolated


communities to better manage their water ?
p. 9

V.

How could we improve peoples life by providing them


with clean, fresh drinking water ?
p. 12

VI.

Conclusion

VII. Bibliography

p. 2

p. 14
p. 15

Rafael Ramirez, Jilian LamprechtThe importance of water

I.

6/5/2016

Introduction

On the 25th of September 2015, at the United Nations Development


Summit, many world leaders came together and adopted the 2030 Agenda
for sustainable development. This agenda includes a set of 17 sustainable
development goals, or SDGs, and each goal is centered on an area of
development such as poverty, education, and fight against inequality or
renewable energy. For this project we have decided to look into the sixth
SDG, which is centered on clean water and sanitation. This goal works on
achieving clean water for drinking and hygiene for everyone by 2030, as
well as other secondary objectives such as assuring that everyone has a
secure water source, or teaching small isolated communities how to treat
their water and distribute it evenly. We have decided to explore four
different topics related to water and sustainable development. Ranging
from how we could use water more efficiently to how Las Vegas has
created a system to recycle its water; So that at the end of this project of
research, we can understand if these goals will be achievable by 2030 or
not.

Rafael Ramirez, Jilian LamprechtThe importance of water

II.

6/5/2016

How can we use water more efficiently


and what effects would it have ?

Water is vital to the survival of everything on the planet. But even though
the Earth might seem having abundant water, less than 1 percent is
readily available for human use.

Water represents one of the biggest problems nowadays. Millions of people


lack access to safe drinking water, while those who have waste it without
thinking about it.
It seems so normal for us to have water that we dont care about how
much we use. One example could be the ice bucket challenge, an activity
that took place two years ago involving dumping a bucket of ice water on
someone's head to promote awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral
sclerosis and encourage donations to research. It was for a good cause,
but if a child suffering from lack of water is shown one of these videos, he
definitely wont understand why people dump a full bucket of fresh and
clean water on their head, while he doesnt even have enough to quench
his thirst
Considering the fact that a minimum of 8 to 20 liters were used each time
someone did this challenge, more than 23000000 liters have been
wasted worldwide, that is enough water to fill up 9.2 Olympic swimming
pools However, its nothing compared to the amount of water we waste
every day.
Simply because of leaks, nearly 40000 liters of water are wasted every
year by an average household, an almost 4 trillion liters of water can be
3

Rafael Ramirez, Jilian LamprechtThe importance of water

6/5/2016

wasted in one year by a country like the United-States, which represents


the annual household water use of more than 11 million homes.

Wasting water has a lot of negative consequences:


First, we pay more expensive bills as we use more water. So, by wasting it,
we pay for water we dont use. Moreover, a huge amount of energy is used
to clean and transport water. By wasting this water, we have to clean and
transport bigger amounts, and therefore use more fossil fuels and other
non-renewable energies. The more water we waste, the more we
contribute to the release of their by-products such as carbon dioxide in the
Earths atmosphere, and the faster these energies become scarce.
Another problem is the overuse of water in homes. By using too much
water at home, less water is available for agriculture, and if theres not
enough quantity to water plants, crop yields are damaged and the food
supply for humans and for livestock is affected. Plus, the fresh water that
is supplied to homes and businesses often come from aquatic
environments in which the plants and animals rely on the water to survive.
If too much water is removed from these systems and not returned in
equal quantities, species become endangered.
Finally, in places where clean water is scarce, wasting water reduces the
amount that is available for other people to use for drinking, cooking and
cleaning. From this point of view, wasting water contributes to illness,
disease and starvation.
To lessen these problems, we need to learn to be water efficient, which
means that everyone should use as much water as needed for their
purpose, therefore not more than necessary.
A lot of actions can be done, but here are a few examples of what we could
tell to other people:

Do not let the water run while shaving or brushing teeth

Take short showers of 5 minutes maximum instead of baths. Turn off


the water while soaping or shampooing

Keep drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the faucet


run until the water is cool

Use short blasts to rinse dishes instead of running water

Rafael Ramirez, Jilian LamprechtThe importance of water

6/5/2016

Take your car to a carwash that recycles water

If you have a pool, cover it to prevent evaporation

When using washing machines, wash only full loads of laundry or use
the appropriate water level

Check for leaks in your toilets, faucets and hoses, and then fix them

Rafael Ramirez, Jilian LamprechtThe importance of water

6/5/2016

Almost 700'000 liters of water per household could be saved each year if
everybody respected these few rules.

Another measure that can be taken concerns food. As water is involved in


everything we eat, drink and wear, we also waste a lot of water by wasting
food.
Here are some statistics of how much water is used to produce different
types of food :

Rafael Ramirez, Jilian LamprechtThe importance of water

6/5/2016

By cooking more food than we can eat, we have to throw away leftovers
that have needed a lot of water to be produced.Similarly, a huge quantity
of water can be saved by eating some aliments instead of others.In this
way, replacing 500 grams of beef by 500 grams of vegeatables each week
represents a saving of more than 350000 liters of water annualy.As
second example, drinking one cup of tea instead of one cup of coffee per
day saves 35000 liters of water a year.To sum up, there is not one big
solution that can solve every water-related problem in the world. Instead, if
little actions and principles are carried out by everybody, big changes can
be made.

III.

How can we restore and protect water


sources ? - Las Vegas

Rafael Ramirez, Jilian LamprechtThe importance of water

6/5/2016

The USA is one of the countries that consume the most water in the world,
with an average consumption of up to 1500 liters a day for a four-member
household. This is more than thrice the consumption per household of
most of the other countries. Thats because in most cases they do not use
water very intelligently.
Some cities like Las Vegas are even described as running out of water. But
the reality is different :
There are a lot of rumors on Las Vegas, like Las Vegas is going dry, Lake
Mead will run out of water by 2021, or Las Vegas is using more water
from Colorado River than its allowed. But in fact, all of these are false.

Lake Mead, Las Vegas

Even though the city consumes approximately 450 liters of water per
person each day, it has become, and Vegas people insist, a model of water
conservation in the American West.
Almost every single drop of water used indoors, and this all across the
valley, gets transported through about 3,200 kilometers of pipe to
treatment facilities, in which water is filtered, treated with bacteria that
break down harmful compounds, and exposed to ultraviolet light that
disinfects it. After that, its pumped back into Lake Mead, where the Las
Vegas water district can pump it again.

Rafael Ramirez, Jilian LamprechtThe importance of water

6/5/2016

Thanks to this system, the effects on the lakes level by indoor water use
are almost negated.
Changes have been brought to residences too. For more than fifteen years
now, the water district has been paying people to remove the grass from
their yards. (The current rate is $1.50 per square foot)
Moreover, strict standards have been agreed by homebuilders and the
Water Authority for new homes :

New houses that are built cannot have grass in their front yard

The maximum limit of grass in backyards is 50%

During the summer, you are not allowed to water your lawn between
11 a.m. and 7 p.m. These are the times of day when the sun is most likely
to evaporate water before it soaks into the ground
The Las Vegas Valley Water District also installed computerized monitors to
detect leaks in its self-contained water system. Thanks to these
installations, more than 1,600 underground leaks have been detected,
which have saved approximately 1 billion liters of water, which represents
enough water to supply 1,800 Vegas homes for a year. Authorities have
even been talking about a desalinization project.

Rafael Ramirez, Jilian LamprechtThe importance of water

6/5/2016

In the end, even though Las Vegas looks like it uses a lot of water, which is
true, it really cares about the amount it uses, and makes a lot of efforts to
limit the waste of water, given that water is vital for Las Vegas to thrive.

IV.

In which ways can we teach small local and


isolated
communities to better manage their water ?

The sixth MDG is divided into different objectives, and objective 7C aims to
reduce the amount of people without sustainable access to adequate
sanitation and safe to drink water by half. If that objective is to be reached
by 2030, there needs to be a clear improvement to the quality and the
safety of small community water supplies in both developed and
developing countries.
About half of the worlds population lives in rural locations, and they are
usually supplied water by small community water supplies. These
supplies are mostly obsolete and outdated, which makes them prone to
contamination and breakdown. The biggest risk of an insecure water
source is an epidemic breakout, such as diarrhea or cholera. Both of these
diseases cause over 3 million deaths worldwide every year, and 88% of the
cases are caused by unsafe water in sanitation and hygiene.
To improve their water sources, isolated communities cannot bring in new
people to upgrade and maintain them, so the only option is for them to
learn manage them themselves. For this, the World health organization
(WHO) has come up with a safety plan that rural communities can be
introduced to easily.

10

Rafael Ramirez, Jilian LamprechtThe importance of water

6/5/2016

The water safety plan is divided into 6 tasks that once achieved, a water source should be
adequate to use by the population.

The first task, asks to assemble a water safety plan team. The entire
community cannot take care of the water supply, so a few people should
be chosen. The key to a good team is for the members to want to be there
for their own interest, instead of just having to be there because someone
chose them. Ideally the team should have members from various different
backgrounds, as well as some people that have used or known the water
source for a long time.
The second task asks to document the water source. The members of the
team should make maps, documents and charts showing where their water
source is and what path the pipelines follow. It is also important to specify
what type of source it is, whether it is a surface source or an underground
one. The map should be detailed and show all of the potential hazards
such as factories or chemical plants as well as where the water collection
or catchment areas are. With these maps the team will be able to better
manage their water source in the upcoming steps.

11

Rafael Ramirez, Jilian LamprechtThe importance of water

6/5/2016

The third step is one of the most important, in this step the water safety
team should identify all of the hazards that could harm the water, or that
have disturbed the supply in the past. Some risks might be defective water
tanks, torrential rain opening up paths for microbial pathogens, open
defecation or simply and unguarded and unprotected source that all
animals and all the population can use at their leisure.

In the fourth part the water safety plan the team will be repairing adjusting
and improving its source, to overcome all of the risks seen in the previous
step. The funding should come from the government, or a community
budget, and in the worst case from volunteering. Some of the usual
improvements seen from other communities are building fences around
their water sources, and covering them if they are exposed. By the end of
this step the water source should be fully protected and operational.

12

Rafael Ramirez, Jilian LamprechtThe importance of water

6/5/2016

The fifth and sixth steps revolve around monitoring the water source to
make sure that the improvements work properly to provide safe drinkingwater, and establishing a team that will periodically re-do the steps in the
plan to secure a reliable water supply. With these steps the water safety
plan should have been achieved.
With the plan seen above small communities can get together to improve
the water for the good of everybody and many illnesses and deaths can be
avoided.

V.

How could we improve peoples life by


providing them with clean, fresh drinking
water ?

13

Rafael Ramirez, Jilian LamprechtThe importance of water

6/5/2016

These statistics might seem completely frightening and unreal, but they
are all absolutely correct.
It represents the sad truth of our actual world. In a society that never stops
improving, there are still people who lack of the most primal needs, while
some other have an incalculable amount of it.
Today, only 67% of the worlds population has access to sanitation (2.4
billion people have not), and 1 in 9 people (783 million) do not have access
to clean water.
The consequences are numerous (not exhaustive):

Women and children spend between 4 and 6 hours walking for water
each day instead of going to school of working
Water is often dirty and makes them and their families sick
Lack of water for irrigation causes heavy loss of crops
Girls give up school at their puberty because of the lack of sanitation

These are just a few examples of the difficulties of these peoples lives, but
what interests us is how we can help ourselves to get through these
problems.
Various organizations exist whose main goal is to provide these people
with clean, safe water to ensure their basic need for drinking, cooking and
cleaning.
By doing this, they can completely change peoples lives, because the
access to clean water in their countries could:

14

Rafael Ramirez, Jilian LamprechtThe importance of water

6/5/2016

Improve Education
Instead of gathering water, the children can return to class. They will have
a better chance of obtaining a good employment as adults.
Plus, with proper and safe sanitation, girls can stay in school through their
teenage years.
Improve Health
In these countries, the leading cause of illness and death is diarrhea, which
is caused by unsafe drinking water, lack of access to sanitation facilities
and inadequate availability of water for hygiene. By providing people with
safe water, we allow them to wash their hand, their body, and have
adequate sanitation. The diseases and the deaths would therefore be
reduced.

Reduce Hunger
Enough water for irrigation leads to food security. With less crops loss,
hunger is reduced, and healthy food is ensured for everyone.
Plus, women who no longer spend hours each day fetching water can
spend time working or growing food for their family.

VI.

Conclusion
15

Rafael Ramirez, Jilian LamprechtThe importance of water

VII.

6/5/2016

Bibliography
16

Rafael Ramirez, Jilian LamprechtThe importance of water

6/5/2016

https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/ - 8/5/2016, help for the


planning
http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/water-andsanitation/ - 26/4/2016, Sanitation
http://www.unitedworldschools.org/sustainable-developmentgoals-sdgs-and- uws/?
gclid=CjwKEAjwxoG5BRCC7ezlzNmR8HUSJAAre36jCPc54Z8nLv9
4rUD77g0vvl0tS_zcC9d7q2xfPRdcIhoCrXDw_wcB - 26/4/2016,
SDGs for introduction
http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/75145/1/978924154842
7_eng.pdf - 19/4/2016, document on water in isolated
communities
http://www.outsideonline.com/2016686/water-conservationbrought-you-las-vegas - 7/5/2016 Las Vegas water management
http://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/scarcity.shtml - 8/5/2016,
what water means to people around the world
http://www.seametrics.com/blog/5-interesting-waterinfographics/
- 24/4/2016, visually engaging infographics
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1
0932785/The-race-to-stop-Las-Vegas-from-running-dry.html 8/5/2016, Las Vegas Lake Mead information

DONNELLAN Craig (Editor) The Water Crisis, is issues vol. 76,


independence publishers, Cambridge 2004

17