The International Water Management Institute estimates 33% of the world's population will live in countries with water scarcity by 2025. That simply means that in less than 20 years, we won't be able to pretend water shortages are only confined to the Third World. In fact, there are already plenty of developed countries where water is too scarce to satisfy the needs of the population. It's a function of rising population and demand. There are perpetually more people that constantly want more water. And soon, there won't be enough water to meet demand. It's simple as that.
Water comes at a stiff price:
water shortage is the most pressing challenge in the United Arab Emirates, said Minister of Environment and Water Dr. Rashid Ahmad Bin Fahd, and although desalination technology undoubtedly has negative effects upon the environment, there are no better alternatives at present. "Each technology has pros and cons but the technology is essential to us and we are customising it," he added. Source
World Desertification Day: SOS Earth
Some climate experts predict that up to 47% of the globe could be transformed into deserts as global warming continues to reduce rainfall and raise temperatures. Africa is especially at risk because 73% of its arid lands are under cultivation, increasing the rate of erosion. Source (in Italian)
Stiff Penalties for Water Misuse in Sharjah:
The Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA) in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, is launching a campaign against wasting, stealing, and polluting water. The utility is targeting large-scale water consumers such as factories, car washes, and laundries as well as fining homeowners who use excessive amounts for landscaping. The crackdown includes people who make unauthorized connections to water lines. Source
86% of environmental crimes in Amazon remain unpunished:
This is most disturbing: after analyzing 51 court cases in Brazil dealing with environmental crimes in the Amazon River Basin, the Institute for Man and the Environment in the Amazon concluded that few of the defendants were punished. Between 1997 and 2006, 16% of the cases were dismissed, 4% were set aside for lack of evidence, and 66% were still dragging on. Source (in Spanish)
Change of plan in OZ:
The state government of South Australia announced that it was changing its tactics in a fight to save Lake Alexandrina, at the mouth of the drought-stricken Murray River, from soil acidification. Source
At Last! Bill Would Protect Drinking Water from Toxic Chemicals:
In Washington, DC, Representatives Diana DeGette and Jared Polis of Colorado and Maurice Hinchey of New York introduced a bill to Protect Drinking Water from toxic chemicals often used during oil and gas drilling. A companion bill was introduced in the Senate by Senators Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Chuck Schumer of New York. Source
A word on desalination: utilizing desalination is harmful to the environment in many ways, the most being that water can be drained from the ocean and then used for human consumption. One idea that many environmentalists were discussing was to obtain water from the great lakes and other fresh water sources but the great lakes are facing their own problem with lowered lake levels due to the climate changing. Not only is there a water shortage within the great lakes area, taking water from these areas would endanger many animals that rely on the great lakes as their habitat. Fish, birds and even four legged animals would suffer a substantial blow if these bodies of water were reduced or taken away.
Africa's largest seawater desalination plant, capable of producing up to 200,000 cubic meters of potable water daily from the Mediterranean, was inaugurated in Algiers Sunday. Installed in the Bay of Algiers and inaugurated by Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the US$ 250 million El Hamma Seawater Desalination Plant will be able to provide water round the clock to the country's capital, where some neighborhoods suffer from frequent shortages.
Binningup desal plant given conditional approval
Aquatech awarded a major desalination contract for India's first ultra mega power project
Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies acquires rights to new desalination technology
Siemens wants to join Soreq desalination group
Funding agreed for expanding Hadera desalination plant
UAE to spend at least $40 billion on desalination plants over 10 years
Corema approves Escondida's $3.5 billion seawater desalination plant
Poseidon Resources signs deal with Barclays Capital
Queensland scouting for at least two more desal plants
Another noteworthy item is the giant steps taken by the reverse osmosis systems here and here. Reducing the electricity needed for desalination osmosis systems brings down the overall cost of producing potable water from seawater and waste water.
Source : http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/06/26/745172/-Water-Desalination-News-You-Can-Use