Water is fundamental for life and the environment. The economies of all nations are dependent on access to water, and its use is indispensable across sectors of the economy. The competition for water from dietary change, urbanization, and industry and the risk that climate change will adversely impact water supplies in some. Twenty years ago, it was rare for water to be the news, but today some parts of the world it is always news about water shortages. It is important to note that water shortages have occurred in areas previously considered well-endowed with rainfall including southeast England and parts of the southern United States (Chartres & Varma, 2011). As the most basic human need, water is not allocated equally around the world. This means that experts and those concerned need to find ways of providing water to countries that have scarcity of fresh water supply. This research paper will explore ways of transporting water to such places and the effects of that in terms of water supply globally. Those ways include bottling, container shipment and through pipelines. As such as they may be expensive and discouraged for environmental deterioration, it is important to explore ways of improving them so that those in dry areas do not die due to lack of water.
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Ways of transporting water
According to Stephenson (2009), the leading reason for consumption of bottled water is due to health-related issue and tests. He also talks of convenience of bottled water as a factor. In United States, the FFDCA treats bottled water as food, and has established specific regulations for bottled water, including standard of quality. In this regard, bottled water is defined as “that water intended for human consumption and that is sealed in bottles or containers with no added ingredients apart from safe and suitable antimicrobial agents in some cases” Stephenson, 2009; p 25). FDA has also established current good manufacturing practices specific to bottled water. Bottlers must test their source of water once a week.
Countries with scarce water for gets this kind of water and it is majorly for drinking. After bottling, it is exported through various means and distributed by agents, relief organizations and many bodies responsible to ensure water is accessible to such places. Being a traditional way for transporting water, it has been improved through technology to ensure safety and that it meets the ever changing requirements as a result of population increase. However, some people like Curtis (2012) have discouraged this kind of water advocating for tap water as the best.
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Containers are used to export various goods and product through the sea for countries that have direct connection like the Indian Ocean and the red sea. It may sound ironical to transport water using containers and the mode of transport being water but it is really happening. Here, the discussion is about safe water for drinking and human consumption which is scarce in many countries. This is one of the cheapest modes of transporting water to such countries given that transportation costs are lower compared to other modes like air transport. However, it takes a lot of time for such products to be moved from one country to another and people waiting for the same might suffer while waiting for that essential commodity.
Transportation through pipelines
Wisner, Tan, & Leong, (2005) talks about Pipeline transport as one of the known modes of transporting liquid between two places at effective cost. Once the initial costs are made, it is cheap to maintain since the only required way is to put pressure for water to move. This method has been well applied by scientists who have employed the force of gravity to do such work. In countries faced with water shortage, a country is identified on a higher ground so that water flows with little energy making access to water easier and faster.
In anything done, there are always critics who come up with genuine reasons to counter. In the above discussed three methods of ensuring that water is accessible to countries with little access, people have come up to oppose the moves.
Bottling water has brought many arguments ranging from the costs to the environmental issues. Dry countries are considered to have many people living below the poverty line. It is too expensive for the poorest people in the world who may be most need as a result of the decline in the availability of water supply. Bottled water is suitable in countries that are relative well off where there is plenty of freely available drinking water (Brans, 1997). Environmental impact is another concern in ensuring this water gets to those who need it. For instance, the great use of fuel by aero planes and ships to transport bottled water is very expensive. The best case is Fiji water that is produced and bottled in Fiji in the south pacific and transported to places like New York and London. Plastics and containers used for bottling water are harmful to the environment. After using, disposal of such plastics have greatly impacted then environment since they do not easily decompose. Some of these water bottles are made from petroleum and natural gas whereby the earth policy Institute in Washington has estimated that about 1.5 million barrels of oil is used annually for such bottles in America alone.
The cost of transporting water through the use of ships and pipelines is a cost concern. A lot of money is used to ensure such commodity is transported and cost benefit analysis sometimes discourages the same. In shipping, it takes a lot time to deliver the water to the required destination and this might affect the quality of water consumed by those in need. Pipes have calcium which sometimes affects water and those who use get problems like brown teeth. The cost of building pipelines between the countries to transport water is another issue leaving alone vandalism which leaves the delivery of constant water very expensive. In all the aspects, energy is needed to transport this water. For instance, electricity to pump water, oils and petroleum products to ensure vessels moving the water products are powered.
In respect to environmental degradation through the bottled water, there is a need to come up with bottles that have less negative effect to the environment. One of such is doing away with plastic bottles and developing reusable bottles like those of coca cola so that they are not disposed instead taken back for brining water (Chapelle, 2005). Governments, donors, nonprofit organizations and world water council should come together to finance the transportation of water to ensure transportation expenses are not left the poor citizens who are in need of water. Transportation ways that require little energy should be sought to ensure other forms of energy are not used solely for transporting water. One of that is the use of gravity for water to move freely without much energy.
Water shortage has been occasioned by such factors as poor environmental conservation and climate change. People should be responsible to the environment and take good care of it so that water is produced naturally. As much as be said that transportation of water to countries that are in dire need is expensive, they cannot be left to starve. There is need to use technological innovations to ensure water is availed to such places. Depending on the countries in needs, better solutions need to be found for delivering water to them. Firstly, countries should seek water from their neighbors who have access instead of going miles away. Where possible, natural and cheap transport should be considered like gravity. All stakeholders must come on board to avail the best ways of water management to ensure full access to even those countries without because it is not their wish to lack adequate water supply.
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