Water – The Quientessenz Of Life

71 % of the earth surface is covered with water.

If you have a look at our earth you probably will realize that most of its surface is covered with water. That‘s why we refer to it as the „blue planet“. And if you ever have been to the coast of a big ocean you probably have thought: „What an endless expanse”. It seems as if there is water everywhere, but still it is hard to imagine how much.

Why should we worry – isn’t there Water everywhere?

Let’s think about it for a second and imagine these distances:

  • Portugal – Florida: 6.500 km
  • Kap Horn – Kap of Good Hope: > 7000 km
  • California – the Philippines: > 11.000 km

And if I tell you now that the average depth of our oceans is approximately 3,800 m you might get the feeling that there is a lot of water out there.

We all know that water is essential for life. No water, No life – a basic fact everyone should be aware of. However water does not equal water: According to the WWF and the bpb 97 % of the world’s water is salt water, mainly useless to the human being. Out of the remaining 3 %, 2/3 is captured in glaciers and ice caps. So mankind is left with less than 1 % of water he has an easy access to. Or in other words: The sum of sweet ground water and water in lakes and rivers is less than 1 % of all the worlds’ water resources. Would you have imagined that?

I recommend you to check this out for a first overview:

What comes clear in the video is that this small percentage which is left is not treated with care, which again minimizes the remaining 1 %. Furthermore the farming sector (bio-fuels), new areas of settlement and the climate change, among others, lead more and more to a tremendous water scarcity.

“Blue Gold” on its way to the top of the agenda?

And yet again it gets even worse: Water is not replaceable. Maybe you’ve heard about the term “black gold”, which refers to oil, because it is so important to the worlds industry? Today we are talking about the term “blue gold”, which refers to water, because the human being has realized that water is more and more limited. As mentioned before clean and fresh water is quintessential for life on our planet. This may seem odd to us people here in the western world, right? Well not quite right. Have a look at the full interview with scientist Peter Gleick of the Pacific Institute in Oakland, California, who is an expert on global freshwater challenges and states with respect to the US:

“We are moving into a new era where we can no longer take water for granted.”

So you see that even countries that are highly industrialized have to cope with water scarcity in the nearby future.

It can be observed that in recent year’s governments and worldwide operating companies have taken alerting steps to secure their access to fresh water supplies – regardless of national borders.

In my next blog post I am going to give a first detailed insight on the scarcity of our “blue gold” and what steps have been taken in some parts of the world.