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[Feature] [20 Must-know GEI] 12. Do others suffer from my careless use of water?

by Eco Generation | 29-08-2016 09:34 Comments 0 Comments recommendations 0 recommendations



20 Must know issue title

Do others suffer from my careless use of water?

20 Must know issue 12-1

Around 1 billion people around the world are having difficulties getting drinking water by walking in the desert or other dry areas. Furthermore, there are more people who die from unsafe water than from wars or riots. In Korea, however, most people can get clean water whenever they turn on the faucet, which makes it difficult for them to understand how many people around the world are ?suffering from water.? 
Have you noticed that careless use of water can exacerbate the suffering of our neighbors and those countries facing water shortages? Let?s look at the relationship between them to find out how water use can jeopardize the lives of others. 

1. Reasons why you shouldn?t think little of water.

20 Must know issue 12-2 

Dam, intake station, receiving well, grit chamber, chemical tank, mixing basin, flocculation basin, sedimentation basin, filtration basin, chlorine contact basin, stilling basin, water pipes, home.

The process of water flow from river or dam to a tap is not that simple. It takes 5 to 8 steps of water purification, including filtering, sedimenting and chlorinating to arrive at our taps through water pipes. Even before we have time to enjoy the clean water, it is disposed of quickly and goes back to nature again through several purification processes.
All the processes require electricity. Moreover, it takes a lot more electricity for the treatment process of used water.
In other words, it requires a great amount of energy for us to use water conveniently, which entails fossil fuel consumption. This results in emissions of a lot of greenhouse gas and exacerbated climate change. Moreover, there have been various environmental problems and social conflicts over the construction of new power plants, transmission towers and lines for more electricity.


2. How is climate change related to water shortages?  

Climate change has various impacts on water scarcity. Changes in precipitation patterns cause frequent droughts and floods, a global temperature rise, increased water evaporation and shortages of surface and underground water, which results in water scarcity.
It is more severe in existing drought areas, such as Africa. Many African countries are suffering from a shortage of drinking and domestic water. In some regions, conflicts or even wars erupt over water. There are many children who have to walk a long way to collect water instead of going to school. 


20 Must know issue 12-3

[Water sectors influenced by climate change]


Not only people, but also innocent animals, are in danger. Numerous aquatic plants and fish would lose their habitats and land animals would lose drinking water.


3. Simple but strong action, saving water!

As global citizens, what can we do to help our neighbors suffering from water? First and foremost, the easiest and most effective action we can take is ?saving water!? 
If you save water, less water goes through the purification process and less greenhouse gases are emitted, so climate change threatening our neighbors will be reduced.
So, will you promise not to think little of water and save it instead?


[Reference] 
Seoul Institute Seoul Infographics https://www.si.re.kr/node/46302
Korean Ministry of Environment (2010) "하수처리시설 에너지 독립선언!" 에너지 자립화 기본계획
Korean Ministiry of Environment (2010) 그린정수장을 위한 에너지 절감 및 효율화 방안 




Script by : Prof. Yoon, Sun-jin's Environment & Energy Lab
                Seoul National University
Illustration by : Kim, Jeong-kyeom




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