Thursday, June 3, 2010
Several hundred peopled gathered at the David Lawrence Convention Center for the annual United Nation’s World Environment Day, which this year is focused on water. With panels on the confluence of energy and water, water’s roll in keeping humans healthy and water as an economic driver the conference was a mix of finding better ways to use water assets and finding new ways to get water to those who are considered water instable. Those who are water instable do not have enough water to survive. David Ainsworth heads the UN’s Conservation and Biodiversity effort. He says water is constantly moving. It is flowing down steam, evaporating and falling as rain and snow. He says as it moves we use it in many different ways. We use it for personal use, industrial use, and for economies. He says, “What we need to do is find a way to use it in ways that do not destroy the ecosystems that provide it.” Presenters at the conference say one billion people, or about a sixth of the world’s population, lack access to clean drinking water today and with demand growing faster than supply two thirds of the world’s population will face intermittent water shortages by 2025. And it is not just a third world problem. In the US, all of the contiguous 48 states but North Dakota are expected to see water supply conflicts of some type by the same year.