chapter  4
21 Pages

Too little water in the city

It is worth reminding ourselves that all the water that ever has been, or ever will be, is currently on the planet. It is a closed system, which simply cycles water between solid, liquid and gaseous states. The amount of water resources that are available for drinking is only a fraction of this total however. Some 97.5 per cent is saltwater and of the remaining freshwater, two thirds is frozen in the ice caps with most of the rest difficult to access below ground. Considering that we are perceived to inhabit a watery blue planet, fresh drinking water is actually only a minuscule fraction of the total water supplies. Therefore, the effective distribution and management of this resource by society for a myriad of purposes, including drinking, agriculture, economic development and maintaining healthy ecosystems, should be of critical consideration. Yet, human catastrophes associated with a lack of water have been commonplace, despite having enough freshwater supplies on a global scale to provide for everyone. As many settlements may be located far away from vital water resources the solution therefore is largely spatial and managerial; with the problem connected with collection, storage, effective distribution and appropriate usage.