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Be Concerned, Be Very Concerned
In 1950, the US withdrew 12 trillion gallons of water from the ground; By 1980 this figure had more than doubled and is still rising at an alarming rate. The Ogallala aquifer is declining at a rate of 12 billion cubic meters (420 billion feet or 9,729,000 acre feet) per year, which is equivalent to the total depletion to date of the annual flow volume (4000 cubic feet) of 18 Colorado rivers. per second).
Time magazine reported, “The Ogallala Aquifer is being squeezed dry! Some estimates say it will run dry in 25 years. Many farmers in the Texas High Plains, who are particularly dependent on underground sources, are now moving away from irrigated agriculture. They are aware of the dangers of over-pumping. Aquifers From South Dakota to Nebraska, where two-thirds of its water flows, it stretches to Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas. For the past three decades, farmers have pumped water out of the Ogallala as if it were renewable. The annual overdraft is about the same as the Colorado River. .A report by the engineering firm Camp, Dresser and McKee estimates that about 5.1 million acres of agricultural land will go dry in 2020.
Today, the American Southwest is one of the most irrigated areas in the world, turning a desert into a Garden of Eden. However, this heavy irrigation can destroy land due to salt leaching. The 1,400-mile-long Colorado River is the lifeblood of 11 million people from Denver to San Diego. In fact, today 1.5 million acres of prime agricultural land is under irrigation. This magnificent river is slowly being poisoned by the amount of salts and salts flowing through the salty western soil, evaporation, and the increased use of the river in the seven states that use it. Salt levels have exceeded 800 mg per liter and are expected to reach 1,200 m/l in the near future. The EPA’s maximum safe level for drinking water is 500 parts per million, with more than 500 ppm considered unsuitable for drinking. (That translates to teaspoons of salts per gallon of water.) In addition to the depletion of groundwater sources, shifting air currents and globally changing climate patterns lead to less precipitation on land and more to sea.
What could be worse?
As if the dwindling water supply wasn’t bad enough, we are now rapidly destroying what little water we have left with hazardous wastes. Toxic chemicals from thousands of hazardous waste sites across the country continue to seep into the nation’s underground, contaminating land and groundwater and poisoning the air. The US General Accounting Office says the Super Fund program needs to clean up more than 10,000 sites, which currently appears to be an insurmountable task. Six billion tons of solid and hazardous waste are generated in the United States each year. According to statistics from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 400 million pounds of toxic substances are released into our waterways each year by American industry. A recent study found that, at current rates, it would take 30 to 35 years and $253 billion to clean up most of the nation’s known and yet-to-be-discovered toxic waste sites. The EPA projects that it will have to remediate at least 294,000 hazardous waste sites — and that number could go as high as 355,000.
A defensive approach?
In implementing the Safe Drinking Water Act, the EPA has failed to establish national preliminary drinking water regulations for organic chemicals. Since 1975, EPA has issued only a short list of maximum contaminant levels (MCls). The list includes some pesticides and herbicides, a small number of inorganic chemicals, standards for coliform bacteria, turbidity, radionuclides and, since 1979, trihalomethanes. A total of 130 priority pollutants.
The startling fact is that more than 100,000 chemicals are currently released into our environment, with approximately 1000 additional chemicals added each year. Yet the EPA only tests three percent of them. In summary, municipal water utilities are only required to test for levels of 130 or so chemicals when hundreds or thousands of chemicals may be present in a few parts per million or billion that are potentially dangerous to humans. How many chemical combinations are possible with a list of 100,000 individual chemicals?
Here’s an example of how scary the answer can be. The usefulness of water to kill waterborne viruses and many bacteria adds chlorine to water as an essential disinfectant. Most city water contains some amount of humic acid, which is produced by the decay of plants and animals. In addition to chlorine being a known carcinogen, when chlorine comes into contact with humic acids, four other individual carcinogens called trihalomethanes (THM’s) are formed. Just put two together and get four! Now imagine the possibilities of mixing 10 thousand in your drinking water.
Water is the single most important element in supporting life, second only to oxygen. We can survive 40 days without food but only 6 days without water. Water serves three major purposes in our bodies. 1. It regulates body temperature; 2. carries nutrients from the food we eat to every cell in our body; and 3. Water Body fluids such as blood plasma, lymph, digestive juices, bile, etc. changes It washes and bathes every cell in the body, carrying away waste and toxins. If water is so essential to our health and survival, why shouldn’t we drink the healthiest water possible? What would that be, you ask? Distilled water.
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