Clean Water Supply

Goals

To better understand statistics and data surrounding blackwater, greywater, and clean drinking water in the United States.

Early Findings

Clean Water

  • In the United States, groundwater sources provide drinking water for "about half the total population and nearly all of the rural population, and it provides over 50 billion gallons per day for agricultural needs".
  • Throughout the country, many regions and states are experiencing significant depletion of groundwater resources. This can be a significant problem, especially in areas where surface water - such as lakes or rivers - "are scarce or inaccessible".
  • "Estimated groundwater depletion in the United States during 1900–2008 totals approximately 1,000 cubic kilometers (km3). Furthermore, the rate of groundwater depletion has increased markedly since about 1950, with maximum rates occurring during the most recent period (2000–2008) when the depletion rate averaged almost 25 km3 per year."
  • "Currently, 844 million people – about one in nine of the planet’s population – lack access to clean, affordable water within half an hour of their homes, and every year nearly 300,000 children under five die of diarrhoea, linked to dirty water and poor sanitation."
  • Because the global population is anticipated to exceed 10 billion by 2050, "the situation is set to grow more urgent" than it already is.
  • Sooner even than that, by 2025, half the global population is anticipated to be living in a "water-stressed area".
  • In the United States, the Ogallala Aquifier is "responsible for 30 percent of all irrigation in the United States", and currently sustains about 17 percent of the world's grain produce, making it "an essential component of American agriculture".

Proposed next steps:

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