Communities around the world are facing growing water stress, an insufficient supply of water quality or water quantity – or often both. Climate change, growing populations, aging infrastructure, and natural and man-made contaminants are contributing factors making it challenging for municipalities to meet the increasing demands for clean water.
Shrinking Water Supplies
Meeting the demand for clean water has never been more challenging. Our global population has doubled in the last 50 years, and continues to grow, increasing water consumption in all areas – municipal, commercial, industrial and agricultural. By 2030, a gap of 40% is projected to exist between the demand for water and the available supply (Ceres Report: Water Scarcity & Climate Change, 2009).
Arid weather and prolonged droughts in areas have intensified the problem. Affected regions such as the southern United States, Australia, Italy, Spain and the Middle East and Northern Africa can no longer rely on natural replenishment of their water sources.
Available surface water sources are declining and over-pumping of groundwater beyond natural recharge rates is lowering water tables, increasing groundwater salinity and depleting ground water sources.
Drought and the State of California
The State of California, in particular, is facing an exceptional drought (U.S. Drought Monitor). Nevada’s Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States, and a crucial source of water for California, recently hit its lowest water level on record.
Microorganisms and Contaminants in Water
Water sources we rely upon every day are increasingly at risk of contamination by microbes as well as naturally-occurring and man-made contaminants. Many of these constituents, even at microscopic levels (e.g. measured in parts per trillion) are proven to be harmful or carcinogenic and must be treated and removed in order for water to be considered safe and usable.
Environmental Contaminants: 1, 4-Dioxane, algal toxins, nitrosamines (e.g. NDMA), pesticides, potential endocrine disruptors, and volatile organic compounds.
Pathogenic Microbes: Bacteria (e.g. e.coli, salmonella), protozoa (e.g. Cryptosporidium, Giardia), and viruses (e.g. polio, hepatitis A).