Tag Archives: UNESCO



PERCENTAlthough our earth is made of 20% land and 80% water, 97% of the water is salt water and only 3% of the water is fresh waterHowever, 3% of water contains 2% frozen water, which means there is only 1% of the water we can use.     

CRISISWater crisis is becoming a more serious now. 36% of the world’s population lacks access to improved sanitation. 780 million people live without access to save drinking water.

SAFE WATER TO CROPMortality rates remain high without fresh, potable drinking water.

SANITATIONEach year 3.6 million people die from water related disease. It’s time to save water now.

UNESCO2UNESCO has predicted that by 2020 water shortage will be a serious worldwide problem.”

Let us take the global picture into account. As per a recent study, by the year 2020 water shortage will be a serious worldwide problem. Our water resources will not be sufficient anymore.

SAVE WATER2So an environmental approach is not only a good thing, it is necessary if we want our children to have water when they grow up.

What can we do? In fact, we can do more things to protect our planet.


Now here’s a topic that should be generating great interest around the globe – something not just to think about, but rather put into action.  In Spain they are definitely working in the right direction – stop the devastating loss of water. As an example, the image below shows the water loss in the Aral Sea over only a 50 year time frame.  This is alarming!


Utilizing a greywater system – eco friendly water conservation and solutions.  Greywater systems can help you save 35% to 40% on your annual water bill, and while saving money, you will also help save the environment and provide a better future for our children and their children to come. With this amount of savings, your Greywater Recycling System pays for itself.


 Eternally Pure –  Water Systems
5450 Canotek Road, Unit 66-67
Ottawa, Ontario K1J 9G5





The Global Water Footprint of Humanity

ANGELA MORELLI PHOTOAngela Morelli is an Italian designer. She gained her MA in Communication Design with distinction from Central St Martins, where she specialised in Information Design. Her first degree was in Engineering from Politecnico di Milano and she has an MA in Industrial Design from Milan. She has collaborated with a number of research and commercial organisations in Europe and works as a Graphic and Information Designer. She is based in Norway.

WATER FOOTPRINT1The Global Water Footprint of Humanity is her final MA project, based on research carried out by Unesco and The University of Twente in the Netherlands, and awarded Honorable Mention for Outstanding WOrk at the INDEX:|AIGA Aspen Design Challenge Designing Water’s Future.

Angela Morelli – The Global Water Footprint of Humanity


Angela Morelli is an Italian information designer based in London. Her love of mathematics led to an engineering degree from the Politecnico of Milan. Her love of design led to a long journey through industrial, communication and information design. Her love for the planet led to a strong passion for global water issues. Her love for science led to dialogues and collaborations with research and commercial organisations in Europe.


She believes that bringing about change is not an easy task and it can only follow from a true understanding of a problem, from awareness and reflection. Design has a vital, irreplaceable role to play in achieving this understanding through empathic thinking and emotional intelligence.



Your friends from Rainsoft Ottawa bring you a water related National Geographic video – perhaps this can be the beginning of our “Armchair Travel” series – hope you enjoy (I certainly did – so much so that I watched it twice!)

The largest living structure, the Great Barrier Reef spans more than 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers) of islands and submerged reefs. A plethora of coral thrives here, along with a sweep of parrot fish, surgeonfish, barracuda, and sharks.

Established as a national park in 1975, the Great Barrier Reef was designated as a World Heritage Site six years later. Today 33 per cent of it is fully protected, and efforts are underway to deal with pollution, over-fishing, and the consequences of climate change.

The Great Barrier Reef appears to be about 20,000 years old, but geologists using deep coring techniques have found evidence of ancient corals there that are half a million years old.  With care, the future of Australia’s living treasure will be at least as enduring as its magnificent past.



 * *

GREAT BARRIER VIDEO, “Oceans: Great Barrier Reef”   

Great Barrier Reef Transcript: …  From space, the east coast of Australia appears to be in the embrace of a giant opal. The largest living structure on earth, the Great Barrier Reef is a lacy, living wall spanning more than two thousand kilometers of islands and submerged reefs, between the Queensland coast and the western edge of the Pacific Ocean.  Diving in, the opal seems to splinter into millions of pieces, whirlpools of small metallic-blue fish, barracuda gliding like silver submarines, and occasionally, a lone, predatory shark. The Great Barrier Reef is like an underwater city whose buildings are alive, with millions of small creatures whose lives are intimately and intricately connected. It is as diverse as a rainforest, a mosaic of more than 70 types of habitats hosting thousands of species of marine life. As many as 100 different kinds of coral may occupy a single acre of ocean. Molecule by molecule, coral animals gradually extract calcium carbonate from the surrounding water to form minute stony cups around each animal’s soft crown of tentacles. Some coral live in solitary splendor, but most are built with hundreds, sometimes thousands of individual animals, linked together to form a single coral mound, plate or cluster of branches. Some are like little pink trees and shrubs. They provide food and shelter for thousands of other forms of life. Corals get the credit for most of the reef structure, but much of the construction is done by fast-growing encrusting red algae. They act like pink glue, cementing fragments of shell, sand and coral with sheets of calcium carbonate. The reef is home to more than 4000 kinds of mollusks, from tiny sea slugs – nudibranchs — to giant clams. Green sea turtles travel thousands of miles in the open sea to reach the sandy beaches of some of the Barrier Reef’s islands, and there, to lay their eggs. Hatchings head straight for the sea. They will travel thousands of miles over the years, and eventually, return to lay their own eggs…

video credit: National Geographic

 – VIDEO: UN concern over Barrier Reef threat (bbc.co.uk)

 – Fears for health of Great Barrier Reef (1oneday.wordpress.com) 



International water scientists recently issued a call for action over the growing threat to the world’s groundwater supplies from over-extraction and pollution.

Water supplies will begin running out in critical regions where they support cities, industries and food production by 2030 unless urgent steps are taken to better manage the resource, they cautioned.


The world has experienced a boom in groundwater use, more than doubling the rate of extraction between 1960 and 2000 — with usage continuing to soar up to the present,” says Professor Craig Simmons, Director of Australia’s National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT) and member of the UNESCO’s global groundwater governance program.

A recent satellite study has revealed falling groundwater tables in the United States, North Africa, India, the Middle East and China, where expanding agriculture has increased water demand.

“Groundwater currently makes up about 97 percent of all the available fresh water on the planet and presently accounts for about 40 percent of our total water supply. It provides drinking water to cities, is needed to grow much of our food and sustains many industries — yet almost everywhere, there is clear evidence that water tables are falling,” Professor Simmons says. “This means humanity is extracting groundwater much faster than it is naturally replaced.”

“Not many people think of groundwater as a key driver of the global economy — yet it is. If it becomes depleted, entire industries may be forced to shut down or move. Whole regions could face acute water scarcity.”

The groundwater crisis is driven by a competition for increasingly scarce water supplies between the megacities, the energy sector, manufacturing and farming. It has been hastened by an era of cheap pumps and relatively cheap energy, making it easy to extract.

“Over-extraction also has serious implications for the environment, especially when the climate is warming – as falling water tables can lead to emptying lakes and rivers and dying landscapes as the water they depended on is withdrawn,” Professor Simmons says. “The blunt fact is that most countries and local regions did not know the size of their water resources when then began extracting them, nor how long it took to recharge. In some cases this can take centuries or even millennia. As a result they are now extracting their water unsustainably.”

Water is emerging as potentially one of the main limits to Chinese economic growth: groundwater supplies 40% of China’s food and 70% of its drinking water — yet water levels in aquifers in some regions are sinking by a metre or more a year. 660 Chinese cities have polluted supplies or are water insecure.

In the Middle East, depleted aquifers have been a major driver of the relocation of agriculture to Africa and the so-called ‘land-grab’ by wealthy countries. In India the number of wells grew from less than one million in 1960 to 19 million by 2000. Water tables in the key food bowl are sinking beyond the reach of many farmers’ pumps.

“The crisis in global groundwater is chiefly one of poor governance, exacerbated by a lack of knowledge of the size and condition of the resource, rates of recharge, lack of transparent policy, lack of ownership, lack of price signals to users and a lack of political will to do anything,” says Professor Simmons. “It’s fixable — but it will take a lot of hard work and good science to do so.”

“Until recently this problem was on the world’s back-burner — but it is rapidly moving to the forefront. Groundwater science has improved dramatically in the last decade, giving us the ability to measure and manage the resource — but governance has yet to catch up. Unless it does, we can expect serious problems in the future.”

Even advanced nations such as the United States face a crisis in their use of groundwater, says Law Professor Robert Glennon of the University of Arizona. “Groundwater now comprises one-quarter of the U.S. supply and more than half of all Americans rely on groundwater for drinking. Unconstrained drilling of new wells, as many as 800,000 per year, has put incredible strain on aquifers around the U.S.,” he says.

“Plummeting groundwater tables have caused earth subsidence, fissures, and saltwater intrusion. It took millennia for this water to accumulate in aquifers, but humans are pumping it out in mere decades.”

The environmental costs of unsustainable groundwater pumping are staggering, says Glennon. Rivers and springs have dried up or been reduced to a trickle. In Arizona, pumping turned a healthy river, the Santa Cruz, into a desiccated sandbox. Even in humid regions, water bodies have suffered. In the Midwest, wells dug to produce spring water for the bottled water industry have compromised blue-ribbon trout streams. And in Florida, scores of lakes have dried up from intense well-field pumping.

The lack of sensible regulation has created incentives for unlimited access to a finite resource, according to Glennon. “An aquifer is like a milkshake glass and each well is the equivalent of a straw in the glass. What most countries permit is a limitless number of straws in the glass. This is a recipe for disaster,” he says.

SOURCE: National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT)