Megatrends

A world thirsty for water

Water covers around 70 percent of the earth’s surface. Yet despite its apparent abundance, it is one of our most precious resources. Experts warn of life-threatening shortages, but innovative processes could help to improve matters. A closer look

By Karoline Amon, Katarina Baric and Christian Brunschede

Prologue

Why we are in deep with water in everything to do with water

January 2014: A record drought hits the US state of California. For the first time in the Golden State’s history, water is rationed. Residents are called upon to save 25 per cent of their water usage. Farmers and manufacturers are forbidden to draw water from the Sacramento River.

Wussten Sie, dass die Ozeane unsere größten Wärmespeicher sind?

Did you know… …that the greenest night of the year is coming up?

The GreenTec Awards reward, integrate and communicate Green Lifestyle. On May 13, 2018 the renowned environmental prize is the opening event for the IFAT, the world's leading trade fair for environmental technologies. The trophies will be awarded in front of 1.100 representatives from media, business and politics – in 12 categories such as Water by Wilo. Watch the livestream.

The bliss of water – a finite pleasure? There are good reasons to deal more wisely with this scarce resource in the future.

The bliss of water – a finite pleasure? There are good reasons to deal more wisely with this scarce resource in the future.

One year later: Lake Baikal in Russia is officially declared an emergency zone. The water level of the world’s largest fresh water lake has dropped dramatically. To preserve the supply of water to cities, the water volume flowing through the hydropower plants’ dams has to be decreased.

August 2017: The Italian government declares a state of emergency in the drought-stricken provinces of Parma, Piacenza, Latium, and Umbria. In the south of Tuscany, it’s only rained a few drops since March; in parts of Campania, no rain has fallen for 18 months. The situation is so serious that in many places, all non-essential household water use is banned between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.

The world is drying up. Africa has long stopped being the only afflicted region: In industry nations such as the United States and China, water emergencies are no longer a rarity. Experts at the World Resources Institute estimate the risk of water shortages in Spain and Greece to be “extremely high”. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has forecast that by 2030, almost 50 percent of the world’s population will live in high-stress areas, that is, regions where more water is needed than is available.

Did you know, that the ocean is our gratest reservoir of heat

Did you know… …that the ocean is our greatest reservoir of heat?

People who live on the coast know: compared to inland areas, the days are warmer by the sea, and the nights colder. The reason: water absorbs heat during the day and then releases it little by little. And by the by: the oceans don’t just absorb sun from the energy; they also absorb carbon dioxide. Researchers have discovered that half of the greenhouse gases responsible for global warming are stored in the world’s sees.

33 billion cubic meters of drinking water are lost through leaks each year – enough to supply New York City for 20 years.

33

billion cubic meters of drinking water are lost through leaks each year – enough to supply New York City for 20 years.

17.196 liters of water are needed to produce one kilo of chocolate.

17.196

liters of water are needed to produce one kilo of chocolate.

1 per cent of the world’s water supply has drinking water quality.

1

per cent of the world’s water supply has drinking water quality.

The United Nations General Assembly (…) recognizes the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of life and all human rights…

Resolution 64/292. The human right to water and sanitation