• According to UN reports most part of the world population lacks safe drinking water. Generally, these people live in developing countries. However, some countries that belong to the Golden Billion face severe water shortages as well.

  • The most arid of all populated continents – Australia – fights harsh droughts every year. As a matter of fact, we might learn quite a lot on water saving from the Aussies! Governmentally this problem is also solved by construction of desalination plants that produce fresh water from the seas. The largest is to be built in Melbourne. It is planned that its annual production would reach 150 billion liters of water.

  • One of the most impressive water projects is the Great Man-Made River in Libya. In fact, it's not really a river, but a system of aquifers carrying water through Sakhara Desert. Its source is the Nubian Sandstone aquifer in the east of Sakhara. Total length of the GMR is 2820 km, and it provides largest Libian cities with 6.5 million cubic meters of water daily.

  • The most common way of irrigation of arid farmlands is used in Arabian countries. A pump sucks up the water from an aquifer and then spreads it on a round field. Field diameters vary from hundreds of meters to three kilometers depending on the power of the source.

  • Kenian government does all the best to irrigate the savannahs. They plan to construct six huge reservoirs to collect rainwater. They would be situated at the foot of Mount Kenia in Aberdare National Park. The authorities are sure that this water would be enough for development of the poorest regions of the country, where farming was impossible due to arid climate.

  • Countries in the south of Africa would be provided by drinking water via a system of five dams on the Orange river. They would transfer its waters to the Vaal river system, which would provide central provinces of South African Republic with water and prevent drough in Lesoto.

  • To turn the rivers is one of major plans of Chinese government. South to North project would be completed by 2050, which would bring water to northern regions of the country. Three major rivers of China – Yangtze, Huang He and Hai River – would be joined by canals that will carry part of its waters to the north.

  • The most insane project of bringing fresh water to people is carried out by Mongolian government. They plan to construct a gigantic ice cube on one of country's lakes. By summer it would be transported to Ulan Bator, capital city of Mongolia to be used as a gigantic air conditioner. Melting water would be collected and used as drinking and for irrigation.

Water Changes the World

Less than one per cent of all water on Earth is suitable for drinking. This is why major theme of World Water Day 2012 (which is to be celebrated on March 22) was the following: The world is thirsty because we are hungry. To fight both thirst and hunger, people are forced to produce water from the most unthinkable sources. However, not all of them are safe for the environment.

The Largest Source of Fresh Water

It is weird, but the largest amounts of fresh water are stored at the most arid place on Earth – in a gigantic desert in the middle of the Antarctic. For a comparison, the most arid places in Sakhara desert receive about 2 cm of showers per year. Antarctic gets even less.

However, the Antarctic ice shield holds up to 70% of all fresh water on Earth. The ice layer is about 1.5 km thick, and it seals about 70 freshwater lakes. Unfortunately, modern day technology has not yet made this water accessible.

Irrigation Trouble

It's not us who consume the most water – it's what we produce. For example, farming that requires tremendous amounts of water. This is why the world is thirsty! Unfortunately, not all places were suited for farming due to aridness and lack of water sources.

For example, most farmlands of the Arabian Peninsula are irrigated artificially from Artesian aquifers in the middle of each of perfectly round fields. 

It is obvious that any human interference in natural processes leads to irreversible changes. Over a certain period of time soil becomes oversalinated due to high mineralization of underground waters. 

Where Do Floods Come From?

Careless consumption of water resources might lead to floods. This is generally followed by total thirst: safe drinking water is scarce in flooded cities. Human agency is called the reason of series of floods in Philippines in the end of 2011. At first the engineers of local dams were blamed for opening of gateways during heavy rainfalls. However, the investigation revealed that the real cause was a series of city planning mistakes in coastal construction and overclogging of rivers: municipal authorities dumped all the waste there.

All the reasons stated above are enough to make us stop wasting water. And start treating it with decent concern.

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