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Which method of avoiding water shortage is more valuable: developing new sources of water or conservation of it?

More than one-third of all worlds will likely be facing very serious water shortages by 2050, according to a new report released by the Natural Resources Defense Council. Up to date, approximately 700 million people in 43 countries suffer from water shortages. High rates of population growth, poor management, environmental pollution, low water use efficiency lead to the depletion of water resources. The United Nation Secretary-General Ban Gi Moon noted that in the future water shortages will pose a threat to economic and social development and environmental sustainability. He believes that in order to overcome this problem is important to the integrated management of water resources and international cooperation, as many rivers and aquifers are the common heritage of countries.

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    May 5 2013: It must be a combination of both. It is necessary for us to find a way to educate, new generations, and Re-Educate ourselves, with a more efficient and conscientious way to care for our water supply. It is our scientific, political, and engineering community's responsibility to develop new sources, and methods to preserve a rapidly vanishing water source.

    Also, why are we still depositing our wastes, on a clean supply?
  • May 10 2013: If I may add to my previous comment, think of it this way; If you take 1 litre/gallon of water for your use, ask yourself these questions:
    1) Where did you obtain it from? - (Reservoir, groundwater/aquifer, desalinated etc.)
    2) What purpose are you going to use it for? Restrict volume of water needed by doing so.
    3) Can it be reused once you're done? If not can treatment recover some, if not all?
    4) Are you encouraging others to do the same?
    • May 10 2013: Thank you for your advices and recommendations. you wrote that we can use desalanation method for water purification yeah, i agree but it not beneficially from economics perspectives, it is very expensive and require a lot of energy, and also some countries unable to use desalanation, that's why they can be left without water.
      • May 11 2013: Yes desalination has been proved to be effective, but it more that just plain expensive, desalination concentrates the seawater near the plant, affecting more than 90% of valuable marine life. If i'm not mistaken desalination is banned in the U.S? More than that, why spend unnecessary time and energy when cheaper alternatives are available.
        I've recently posted a conversation regarding this matter: Taking Payback Period Analysis out of Water Conservation System Designs. Check it out, hope it'll give you some insight on this matter.
  • May 10 2013: Before I give my opinion, did you know that large buildings (Malls, airports etc.) conserve water by collecting condensate water from their Air Handlers or AC Units. In some cases, millions of gallons per year are saved. For example in the Middle East, fresh (potable) water is obtained by desalinating sea water, a highly energy consuming process. On the other hand, their airports converse condensate water.
    Now, why there's water shortages, over-consumption and aquifers not being replenished. Mostly due to climate shifts and global warming, there's decreased rain near the aquifers.
    Solution: Conserve and reuse more. The condensate recovery I've mentioned before is only implemented in regions where water is "expensive enough", so that they recover the installation costs. While reusing water from lavatories, dish washers etc. for irrigation and such, active conservation will result in water being used efficiently.
  • May 7 2013: A water shortage?
    So all the ponds, rivers, lakes, and oceans are going to dry up in 40 years?
    It's never going to rain?
    And here I thought the land was going to be under water over time.
    Well if this is true, we need to start conserving water. Maybe saving rain water (which I hear is illegal in some places, seriously?)
    Find a better recycling system for the water we are using, filter our urine?
    This study seems sort of unreal to me... And I can't understand how or why some lands are going without water... If we stop dropping all this crap in the waters, especially oil "accidents" it wouldn't be so much of an issue.
  • May 3 2013: Isn't integrated management inplying a weighing and balancing process?
    • May 3 2013: it should be balanced my question is about conservation methods day by day water resources are becoming less and i think that every single country must looking for solutions for avoiding any terrible conseqences in the future.Thankyou for your answer)
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    May 2 2013: .My answer:
    The only way is conservation!
    By quitting invalid (harmful) happiness.

  • May 2 2013: I think we need to both conserve water and find new resources. We also need to develop and utilize existing technology that will allow us e.g. to effectively use sea water.
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    May 2 2013: Your question is very interesting, I think that the most benefit for everyone is the preservation, because each resource will be better if his use is appropiate. If every country cares his consume, generate excedents that will preserve this resource.