System Thinking and Transformative Social Systems in Sustainability
It is a fact that above 70% of the surface of the Earth is water. However, the real issue despite the abundance of water is the availability of fresh water (Amanda, 2013). Of the total waters on Earth, 97.5% of this is salty water; this leaves only a 2.5% as fresh water. To add on this deafening fact, of all the fresh water, about 70% of this water remains solid in the Antarctica and Greenland icecaps. Moreover, the residue of the fresh water is at hand as soil moisture or lies in aquifers deep dissident as ground water not reachable for use. Amazingly, less than 1%, amounting to approximately 0.007% of all fresh water is accessible for the direct consumption for human needs. This is the water in fresh water lakes, rivers, reservoirs and tapped shallow underground sources.
The issue at macro levels and micro level
Water is an essential commodity in the progression of life. As humans, we all need access to clean water for many uses. Among these include, cooking, water for drinking, for washing, cleaning and replenishing life. These are the micro uses of water. On the bigger level, water consumption is greater and includes factors such as irrigation, water for use in the factories and industries to aid in the processing purposes and to cool the heavy machinery (Amanda, 2013). Water at the macro level also includes use by plants and animals manned by the human beings for their application in other areas of life. Therefore, the consumption of water at both the macro and micro levels is the major issue at hand. This issue is further split into two categories, considering the uses and consumption of water and the supply at both the macro and micro levels. These two categories of issues are; the increasing demands for water supply and the consequent decrease in supply for the commodity. This leaves the question as to what does the future; therefore, hold concerning the demand and supply of this precious commodity of life?
In view of the problem at the macro level, is necessary to evaluate the cause of the issue and understand the resulting impact. First, the water issue is affecting not only the developing nations, but also the developed countries (Amanda, 2013). The greatest cause is the fact that population of people is rapidly growing. This concept puts a lot of pressure on the available water supply. Additionally, this factor gets worse due the subject of contamination and pollution. The available water due for consumption by humans reduces in volumes due to the resulting problem of increased pollution and contamination of the water in the sources and origins. Thus, at the macro level, the water demand increases, and consequently, the supply reduces at the same time.
Secondly, on the subject at the micro level, the rate of consumption of water varies depending on the availability of the commodity to the people (Amanda, 2013). Nonetheless, it is a common occurrence to find people using water in a manner that contributes to the crisis of water in their homes and the surrounding environment. Water consumption rate in homes is a worrying trend, as people do not use water in a renewable or replenish-able manner. People pour water instead of adopting positive usage such as renewing or reusing the water used in other activities. This leads to more demands for water while the supply remains limited. Therefore, it is true that at the micro level, the availability of water ready for consumption by humans for their needs globally is an issue that needs urgent and effective redress.
The issue of water available for consumption by humans globally gets worse with the knowledge that, the water cycle on earth consists of a closed system. This means that the amount of water is the same always. This constitutes the hydrological cycle. The hydrological cycle worsens the situation in that the earth is always loosing water more than it is receiving. The earth losses water via evaporation and transpiration to the atmosphere, while only receiving this water in the form of precipitation. The precipitated water further infiltrates the ground into the deep-seated aquifers and the shallow underground sources. The water available as surface runoff is little; worsening the situation by the increased levels of contamination and pollution (Amanda, 2013).
This limits the water supply to humans for human needs both at the micro and macro levels. Additionally, after the earth loses the water to the atmosphere, the precipitation received discriminates various regions of the earth. This means that the hydrological cycle favors some areas while denying others the due supply of water for human needs. The precipitation distributes the water to humans in a discriminative manner in that some regions receive more rainfall than other areas. Consequently, the supply of water to these regions that receive less rainfall remains limited; thus, the issues of water supply to these areas. Therefore, it is significantly essential to develop means of addressing these key issues that affect the supply and availability of water.
Approach of addressing the issue at the macro level and micro level
It is the right of all humans to get access to water, and clean water for that matter. Thus, the human right activists worked over time to establish the right to water as envisioned in the millennium development goals. The rights as outlined in these expectations dictate that humans globally deserve sufficient water supply. Every person must have sufficient and continuous supply of water for personal and domestic use (Amanda, 2013). Secondly, the water has to be safe. The water supply to every person for use must be free from contamination by chemical substances, microorganisms and radiological hazards that pose a threat to human health. Acceptable water, the water for human consumption should have the acceptable odor, color and taste. Physically accessible water that is every person must have access to water and sanitation services that are available within their immediate vicinity. Lastly, the water ought to be affordable. The water and water facilities must be affordable to all humans regardless of their economic status. These are the highlighted necessities for the water that every human has access to for use globally. Therefore, to achieve these standards of water availability, it is essential to develop means and modes of providing quality water services to the people. These include providing solutions to the macro and micro level issues of water supply and demand for human needs globally.
At the macro level, the approaches to solving the water crisis issue include the application of technology. Currently, technology is the driving factor in all industries and areas of life. Therefore, it is only fair to tap into this field of opportunity to develop a lasting macro approach to solving the current water crisis. The technology is to apply desalinization of the salty water that is in abundance across the surface of the earth. The process of desalinization will capitalize on the huge amounts of salty water that covers the surface of the earth. The process of desalinization will involve filtering the salty water via several membranes and consequent removal of the salt through the process of electro-dialysis and reverse osmosis (Amanda, 2013).
This simple procedure can see the subject of sufficient water supply eliminated. The developed nations such as the United States of America already have the desalinating plants in place. Extension of these plants is necessary to the developing nations suffering dire water crisis. Secondly, agriculture as field consumes millions of gallons of water. The practice of recycling and reusing can help eradicate the water crisis at both the macro and micro level. Innovations to reclaim and reuse the current water supplies wasted through disposal as waste water can help save large amounts of water; thus, creating a water restoring system. This procedure can save millions of gallons of water for the future and current use by humans globally for both the macro and micro uses.
Additionally, it will save millions of dollars spent in the process of acquiring water for use as the recycling and reusing the water would cost less money. Therefore, it is high time that both humans and the governments developed means of solving the water crisis by applying readily available means of proper water management. Recycling and filtration system would reap multitude of outstanding benefits globally. Lastly, at the macro level, it is necessary to develop multinational treaties focusing on water sharing. Disputes over shared waters contribute to some nations or regions of the country, community or society wasting large amounts of water. Agreements on equal and suitable sharing of the available water resources and sources would see people get access to clean and sufficient water. This will help the humans globally access water services to meet their needs easily.
At the micro level, the first approach to solving the water crisis is the practice of efficient usage of water available. The way people…