Global Water Issues: Problems and Solutions
We live on a water planet: 70% of the earth's surface is covered with water. But the vast bulk of that water, 97.5%, is salt water. The fresh water that humans need to live is far more scarce (not to mention all of the planet's other plants and animals that cannot survive without fresh water.) Only 2.5% of the world's water is fresh water.
And of that 2.5%, most of the world's fresh water is not easily accessible or available. A minuscule 0.4% exists in surface lakes and rivers, and as humidity in the air. A whopping 69.5% is frozen in glaciers, snow, and permafrost. And another 30.1% is in underground aquifers.
At the same time, access to fresh water is brutally unequal. One billion people, roughly one person out of every 8, do not have access to clean water.
On July 28, 2010, the General Assembly passed UN Resolution 64/292, The Right to Water and Sanitation, declaring that the United Nations "Recognizes the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of life and all human rights." In the text of the resolution, the UN estimated that 884 million people lack access to safe drinking water and more than 2.6 billion people do not have access to basic sanitation. The World Health Organization's figures show that unsafe water kills more people every year than all forms of violence, including war.
Ongoing Huge Threats to Fresh Water Across the Planet
In addition to the historical threats to our water supply, there are two rapidly emerging threats to the supply of safe drinking water everywhere:
CLIMATE CHANGE - as burning fossil fuels heats up the atmosphere, local climates are changing, often for the worse. In some areas, rainfall is disappearing, raising the specter of drought and crop failures; and in other areas, abnormally heavy rainfall has produced catastrophic flooding.
FRACKING - at the very time when we should be reducing the burning of fossil fuels to slow down climate change, the world's oil and gas companies continue to push fracking. In order to produce more natural gas, the companies are forcing millions of gallons of toxic-chemical-laden water down wells into rock formations at high pressure. There are virtually no regulations of fracking, but scientists have already found massive contamination of underground water supplies.
Dance to Express Committment to Water and our Community
As dancers and movers, we express the essence of water and our committment to shared equitable access to healthy Water, knowing that it is the very essence of life on our planet.
Through Global Water Dances, we gather to acknowledge our gratitude, deep need and connection with Water and community all over the world. To improve our current world water situation, we need not only knowledge or technology...conscious committment and willpower are needed.