Tag Archives: Water

80 Percent of Global Water Supplies at Risk

2 Oct

article by National Geographic

Sukkur, on the bank of the Indus River in Pakistan.

The banks of the Indus River in Sukkur, Pakistan.

This gallery is part of a special news series on the global water crisis.

River biodiversity and our water security are in serious trouble, according to a comprehensive survey of waterways released yesterday. At risk are the water supplies of nearly 80 percent of humanity, and two-thirds of the world’s river habitats.

Hotspots of concern include nearly the whole of Europe, the Indian subcontinent, eastern China, southern Mexico, and the United States east of the Rockies.

But experts say there may be hope for restoring rivers and securing future water needs for cities, farms, energy production, industry—and for ecosystems—by “working with nature.”

“We, as a global society, are taking very poor care of water resources,” said survey co-leader Peter McIntyre, a zoologist at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. (See the UW website about the report.)

Rivers, wetlands, lakes, and the life that relies on them, are at risk around the world because of a variety of stresses, including overuse of water, pollution, introduction of exotic species, and overfishing, according to the new study, published today in the journal Nature.

The study maps out all of these stresses and nearly two dozen more; it is the first such detailed map of the threats to human water security and river biodiversity. (See our rivers photogallery.)

read whole article on National Geographic