Until 50 years ago the common perception was the water resources of the planet as infinite. Fortunately, today, with the increase of environmental awareness and with the new EU regulations, more attention is paid to those who are water consumption and we know well that theworld water resourcesthey must be safeguarded.
When we talk aboutwater resources of the planetwe have to make a big distinction: 97% of the water available on Earth is salty. Only 3% is given by fresh water and just over 2/3 of this 3% is represented by the water of the glaciers and the polar ice caps.
A very sad fact is that one third of the world's population does not have access to clean water. This means that 2.3 billion people in the world have neither safe drinking water nor safe water sources. In addition, approximately 1.6 billion people live in areas affected bywater shortage, this means that in some locations, thewater resources they are not lacking, but they are no longer sufficient to satisfy the needs of the local community.
When it comes to water crisis, one cannot help but mention the topic of desalination. Desalination is a process by which saline water (generally sea water) is converted into fresh water by various processes. The most common desalination takes place by distillation or reverse osmosis. Desalination, although possible, is a very expensive process. Furthermore, the fresh water obtained does not meet the standards to which the Western population is used.
There are many factors that influence world water resources,first of all, environmental pollution. Water pollution is a major concern: there are many pollutants that threaten the water supply. The disposal of waste water itself is a major risk factor forworld water resources. In undeveloped countries, but also in emerging countries such as China, India and Nepal, waste water (waste water from industries, sludge, purification water) flows into rivers. Other factors that threaten thewater resources of the planetI'm:
- climate change
- rapid urbanization
- increase in industrial activities
- population growth
Water resources of the planet, in summary
The volume of water available on Earth is estimated to be around 1,360,000,000 km3, apparently this is a huge figure but of these, only 3% is given by fresh water. 97% is made up of sea water, only 1% is represented by water in the soil and aquifers while the remaining 2% is given by glaciers and polar caps.
For further information, I refer you to the article dedicated toworld water needs.