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At SOS Clean Water, we are a non-profit organization that raises money to facilitate construction projects that develop safe drinking water for developing worlds. View some of our services to see what some of these projects consist of. We would appreciate any donations to help our cause.    Contact us today for more information.

SOS Clean Water
2359 Tullamore Circle
Snellville, Georgia 30039   
Phone: 404-319-0086
Alt. Phone: 770-934-0415   
 
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Objectives - Page 6

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objectivespic2While most of the old challenges of water supply, sanitation and environmental sustainability remain, new challenges such as adaptation to climate change, rising food and energy prices, and ageing infrastructure are increasing the complexity and financial burden of water management. Population growth and rapid economic development have led to accelerated freshwater withdrawals. Trends in access to domestic water supply indicate substantial improvement in the past decade, putting most countries on track to achieve the water supply target of the Millennium Development Goals. However, sanitation is lagging well behind, and most sub-Saharan African countries and many rural areas still show unsatisfactory records for both water supply and sanitation. Steadily increasing demand for agricultural products to satisfy the needs of a growing population continues to be the main driver behind water use. While world population growth has slowed since the 1970s and is expected to continue its downward trend, steady economic development, in particular in emerging market economies, has translated into demand for a more varied diet, including meat and dairy products, putting additional pressure on water resources. After agriculture, the two major users of water for development are industry and energy (20% of total water withdrawals), which are transforming the patterns of water use in emerging market economies. Water and energy share the same drivers: demographic, economic, social and technological processes put pressure on both energy and water. The recent acceleration in the production of biofuel and the impacts of climate change bring new challenges and add to the pressures on land and water resources. Freshwater ecosystems provide an extensive array of vital services to support human well-being. A variety of economic and recreational activities such as navigation, fisheries and pastoral activities depend on direct use of water in healthy ecosystems. Yet some environmental services receive inadequate policy attention and are endangered by the way development sectors use water.

Impacts of water use on water systems and the environment The pattern and intensity of human activity have disrupted – through impacts on quantity and quality – the role of water as the prime environmental agent. In some areas depletion and pollution of economically important river basins and associated aquifers have gone beyond the point of no return, and coping with a future without reliable water resources systems is now a real prospect in parts of the world. While the intensity of groundwater use, partly encouraged by subsidized rural electrification, has led to the emergence of many groundwater-dependent economies, their future is now threatened by aquifer depletion and pollution. Prospects for relaxing use of these key aquifers, remediating water quality and restoring groundwater services to ecosystems look remote unless alternative management approaches are developed.

Our ability to maintain the environmental services we depend on has improved but remains constrained by an incomplete understanding of the magnitude and impact of pollution, the resilience of affected ecosystems and the social institutions that use and manage water resources systems. A failure to monitor the negative impacts of water use on the environment and institutional weaknesses in many developing countries prevent effective enforcement of regulatory provisions. Relevant information about pollution loads and changes in water quality is lacking precisely where water use is most intense – in densely populated developing countries. As a result, the often serious impacts of polluting activities on the health of people and ecosystems remain largely unreported. Still, there are signs of progress in how pollution and the risks of pollution can be mitigated and trends in environmental degradation reversed.