Providing the World with Drinking Water in the 21st Century Essay

Providing the World with Drinking Water in the 21st Century Essay

Length: 1050 words (3 double-spaced pages)

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Each day, over 5,000 children die from diarrhea-related diseases developed from unsafe drinking water. Approximately one billion people do not have access to clean drinking water; one billion people about equates to one out of every six individuals. The deaths resulting from unsafe drinking water are greater than the number of deaths caused by war. We all must work together to find new sources of freshwater so that everyone in the world will have adequate supplies of safe drinking water. This essay will outline current and future technologies that will be available to resolve this problem in the coming years.

Water covers nearly three quarters of the Earth, yet people still die everyday from the lack of fresh water. How is this possible? Only three percent of the planet’s water is fresh water, and a small amount of that constitutes water not found in snow or ice. Depletion of this fresh water is occurring at a faster rate than replenishment, creating a fresh water crisis. Experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) project that within 40 years, four billion people—nearly two thirds of the world’s population today—will face major fresh water shortages. This problem cannot be solved by any one group of people, yet at the heart of the matter lays engineering. Engineers need to optimize current technologies:
1. Desalination of ocean water
2. Diversion of water
3. Recycling of wastewater/irrigation
Also, engineers need to continue to develop new technologies. New projects on the horizon of fresh water engineering include:
1. Nano-osmosis of ocean water
2. Decentralized distillation units in rural areas
3. Strategies for reducing water use

Desalination of ocean water presents enormous challenges w...

... middle of paper ...

...Much of this explosion in population will occur in regions considered to be “third world.” Fresh water is scarce in these regions today; in 2050 the lack of fresh water in these regions could reach disastrous levels. The implications of these numbers greatly weigh on the shoulders of engineers. Lack of fresh water cannot be ignored requiring the further development of technologies and programs aimed to solving the problem. This problem has implications socially, politically, and scientifically. Engineers alone cannot be tasked with solving the problem, yet their work will greatly aid the progress towards developing a solution.

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