In this illustration, the blue ball represents the volume of all the water on earth, relative to the size of the earth.
That tiny speck to the right of the blue ball represents Earth’s total fresh water.
If Earth was the size of a basketball, all of its water would fit into a ping pong ball.
How much water is that? It’s roughly 326 million cubic miles (1.332 billion cubic kilometers), according to a recent study from the U.S. Geological Survey. Some 72 percent of Earth is covered in water, but 97 percent of that is salty ocean water and not suitable for drinking.
“There’s not a lot of water on Earth at all,” said David Gallo, an oceanographer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts.
CREDIT: David Gallo/WHOI [SOURCE]
Did you know we have reached peak water?
Over the last 40 years, the demand for freshwater use has grown dramatically. What was once the domain of human thirst and food production has become a battlefield for usage rights by mining, manufacturing and industrial plants.
Why do they need fresh water? Simply because salt water will lower the lifespan of their equipment, So, in an effort to extend the equipment life,reduce operational expenditure – in short – increase profits, they will happily consume as much freshwater as they can. In fact, industry is the primary reason for groundwater mining.
Artesian wells have been sucked dry – with effects visible on the surface as lakes and rivers dry up with them – and is directly responsible for raising the sea levels by 13% as the used water is drained off into storm water drains and into the ocean.
So, who cares, we can de-salinate right?
I mean, any talk of issues of creating super saline patches of water and wet desserts aside, how about the fact that the process of creating power and not changing our ways are still affecting the the planetary boundaries …
The blackdots are are our current measures and estimates of how the different control variables for seven planetary boundaries have changed from 1950 to present.
The green shaded polygon represents the safe operating space.
For an 18m Synopsis Watch this TED Video:
The majority of the environmental impacts on the planet have been caused by the rich minority, the 20 percent that jumped onto the industrial bandwagon in the mid-18th century. The majority of the planet, aspiring for development, having the right for development,are in large aspiring for an unsustainable lifestyle, a momentous pressure.
Now, as a scientist, what’s the evidence for this? Well, the evidence is, unfortunately, ample. It’s not only carbon dioxide that has this hockey stick pattern of accelerated change. You can take virtually any parameter that matters for human well-being — nitrous oxide, methane,deforestation, overfishing land degredation, loss of species — they all show the same patternover the past 200 years. Simultaneously, they branch off in the mid-50s, 10 years after the Second World War, showing very clearly that the great acceleration of the human enterprisestarts in the mid-50s. You see, for the first time, an imprint on the global level. And I can tell you,you enter the disciplinary research in each of these, you find something remarkably important,the conclusion that we may have come to the point where we have to bend the curves, that we may have entered the most challenging and exciting decade in the history humanity on the planet, the decade when we have to bend the curves.
For Source Material read the full paper here