Water crisis

We are all aware at how we should be saving water and the environmental aspects of our water issues on this planet .The 5th World Water Forum is underway starting today. It is the largest water related event in the world with an estimated 20,000 participants. This event is taking place in Istanbul and will end on March 22nd. Some of the participants include the nine heads of state and over 130 ministerial officials around the world.

Excerpts below are from an interview with Professor Oktay Tabasaran, who is the secretary-general of the World Water Forum.

What else do we understand from management of water?

The pollution of water with domestic and industrial waste is an important problem. In addition, there is a need to make changes in the variety of crops. For example, cotton production needs a lot of water. The Aral Sea has been shrinking due to wrong agricultural practices. People in the Aral region used to grow a lot of cotton. Another example is that for one kilogram of meat on our tables, about 1,000 liters of water was used. But when we have a kilogram of vegetables on our tables, only 10-15 liters of water was used.

So people need to change their dietary habits. Do you think meat is eventually going to disappear from the dinner table?

Not really, but a slice of steak every day is not really necessary. Doctors also point out that a diet based on animal products is not really healthy.

In Dubai the cost of one liter of water equals the cost of four liters of gasoline. Could this be the rule, rather than the exception, in the future?

The latest UN report indicates that two-thirds of the world’s population will face water stress in less than 20 years if current trends continue. Already there are about 2.5 billion people without improved sanitation facilities, 200 million people get sick due to waterborne diseases, and about 2 million people die each year in the world due to using unclean water. These are significant numbers and alarm bells are ringing. The threat is there. We have it, too.


Quantity of water needed to produce 1 kilogram of:

Wheat: 1,000 liters
Rice: 1,400 liters
Beef: 13,000 liters

Water facts

1.1 billion people live without clean drinking water
2.6 billion people lack adequate sanitation
1.8 million people die every year from diarrheal diseases.
3,900 children die every day from water borne diseases



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