Water and Climate Change

Water and Climate Change

Water and Climate Change

As stated recently, CBS news, there’s no more denying the facts of Climate Change . The world has experienced adverse and extreme weather conditions over the last few years. The year 2019 alone saw significant damages incurred, vital infrastructure destroyed, and sadly, lives lost.

The effects of Climate Change are continuously occurring and growing in intensity. Even more so, it has been found that Climate Change is rapidly worsening at a greater rate than initially anticipated. The past no longer seems fit to make predictions for the future as this phenomenon escalates on a global scale

Since temperature records started in 1880, 2019 was the second warmest year.

Affects of Global Change
According to the Australian Government National Water Commission, there has been much doubt and disbelief surrounding the facts of Climate Change. Today the concept of Climate Change and the effects are thankfully more accepted amongst scientists, leaders, policy-makers, and the public.

Climate Change is something that has and can affect almost every aspect of the economy, environment, and community. The world is in a more vulnerable than ever position, posing unique challenges to human health and well being.

The impacts of climate change and all the natural disasters to come and have happened all will relate back to the water, from droughts to storms to floods. We have seen an increase in extreme rain events over the last 50 years that have greatly affected and will continue to affect the availability and quality of our water.

Different ways t Filter

Global deforestation contributes 11 % to global greenhouse emmissions

What is climate and Climate Change?

To put it simply, the climate is the average of the weather over a period. Our climate is determined by temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind, and precipitation. The weather is the short term representation of these elements . Climate Change is the change in weather patterns over a long term period.

Our ability to sustain our water systems and resources such as irrigation systems, and agriculture systems, stormwater systems, and water catchment systems depend on the climate. Climate Change can jeopardize the integrity of these systems and ultimately places our communities at economic and social risk.

What are the causes and consequences of Climate Change?

Climate Change is being caused by emission gases caught in the earth’s atmosphere. These are a combination of natural and man-made gases, called greenhouse gases.

The Sun’s heat is trapped by this layer of gases, or pollution, in the atmosphere, which causes the planet to warm up.

Over the years, our gas emissions have increased mainly through industrial activities, in turn increasing the effects of climate change.

Climate Change affects our water supplies explicitly through droughts and storm or heavy rainfall events.

These contrasting natural weather occurrences can lead to a lack of water, and on the other side of the leaf can provide an over-supply of water.

Green house emmissions
Droughts are caused when natural water resources dissipate due to increased evaporation caused by Climate Change. This, coupled with a decrease in precipitation occurring in the earth’s atmosphere, leads to drought. Droughts can lead to a decrease in water supplies, crop failures, famine in livestock, increases in food prices due to low supply of certain foods, and even death in humans, livestock, and wildlife.

At the same time, overall rainfall will increase as well as storm conditions. This may seem like it would cancel out the droughts? However, there is, unfortunately, such a thing as too much rainfall. In circumstances where there is torrential rainfall, the capacity of our sewer systems and waste-water treatment plants will overload. This will result in sewer overflows and stormwater run-offs. This means that our environment is subjected to more water pollution from pesticides, pathogens, and sediments, as discussed in the SureAqua article, ‘The Effects of Polluted Water.’

Changes in rainfall and water run-off primarily affect natural aquifer systems. Excess rainfall leads to more water running off the surface of the land rather than seeping into the ground where they would pass through natural aquifers. This facilitates the continuous ‘recharging’ of the aquifer. Instead, the water runs straight off into our water supplies, contaminating the water.

Save our world

Shaping a Global Solution

It is clear that further Climate Change is inevitable . Harmful greenhouse gases are said to remain in the earth’s atmosphere for anywhere up to 300 years after they are emitted.

Therefore we shall be facing changes that we can neither stop nor control . The only option we have to reduce, reuse, recycle, and adapt to Climate Change.


Ban bottled water?

Ban bottled water?

Ban bottled water? -Hydration with the Environment in Mind

As the movement towards a complete ban on bottled water becomes an increasing possibility in society today, we can no longer ignore or avoid the effects of bottled water on our environment. As the facts of the environmental consequences of bottled water are becoming more and accessible and apparent, certain communities are beginning to respond, such as the small town of Bundanoon in southern NSW, Australia which, on the 26th of September, became the first town in the world to ban bottled water.

Did you know  their is about 5.5 trillion macro and microplastic pieces in out our seas.  About 8 million plastic bottles get washed into our oceans each DAY!!

Plastic bottled water pollution
According to www.gotap.com.au, a website run by the not-for-profit organisation, Do Something, which promotes positive social and environmental change, these are the facts on the bottled water industry and why they believe things have to change:

  • 64% of all bottles consumed go to land fill with only 36% being recycled
  • The production of one liter of bottle water emits 100 times more greenhouse gases than a liter of tap water

Environmental Impacts

There is no arguing that bottled water has detrimental effects on the environment right from when it is produced right through to its consumption. According to Cleanup Australia it all begins at the source. Spring water used in bottled water is sourced from underground aquifers upstream from where the water surfaces. This interrupts the natural aquifer flow, effecting eco systems relying on the water for nourishment and growth.

In production, most bottles are produced from Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), a plastic resin which is derived from crude oil. It takes up to 250ml of crude oil to produce one liter of bottled water and in this process three litres of water is used.

The water is then transported all around the world, burning fossil fuels that otherwise would not be impacting on the environment if bottled water was banned.

According to the 2009 ‘Rubbish Report’ by Clean Up Australia, plastic bottles are amongst the ten most common rubbish items picked up on Clean Up Australia day. Bottles that are not recycled and go to land fill can take up to 1000 years per plastic bottle to decompose.

So what are the main reasons people insisting on turning to bottled water? Some would argue that bottled water not only tastes better than tap water, but that it is also a healthier alternative and is more convenient.

However, there is no evidence to suggest that bottled water is a healthier alternative. Unless your bottle of water is spring water from natural sources, then it is simply sourced from municipal water supplies, i.e. tap water, but has received extra treatment. Fortunately, as environmental awareness begins to rise, more people are beginning to wake up to the facts.

Increasing Trend of Social Responsibility

As mentioned in the introduction, Bundanoon, was the first town in the world to ban bottled water. The town replaced bottles of water in their stores with refillable and reusable bottles that can be replenished from water fountains installed inside shops and in the streets.

Following in the footsteps of Bundanoon, in January of 2011, the University of Canberra, Australia, declared that they were set to ban bottled water across their campuses. They turned to the solution of vending machines called WaterVend, providing water refills for a dollar rather than students and university staff having to pay $3.00 for a bottle of water.

In the year 2013, Concord, a town in the USA state of Massachusetts passed a law making single serving bottle water illegal. According to Ninemsn, “…the ban is intended to encourage use of tap water and curb the worldwide problem of plastic pollution.”

Children cleaning bottled water bottles from beach

Final Say

In an economic and environmental climate that forces us to reconsider bottled water, Australian’s  are fortunate enough to have the alternative of purchasing reusable bottles.

Australian water is said to be world standard drinking water, but you are encouraged to adopt the use of water filters.


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