Starting Off the New Year Right – Drinking Water Water Resources Sustainability

Starting Off the New Year Right

by Brian Oram

Happy New Year, I would like to propose we make one additional commitment this year.  This commitment is to care about the water we drink as we try to remember how we impact or influence the quality and quantity of the water resources.  Although it is the beginning of a new year (wishing you GOOD Luck in 2017!), for the water cycle the new year started in October.  This is the time of the year when the aquifer begins to recharge. Many people are unaware that the aquifer must recharge, it is not infinite.  In Pennsylvania and the Northeastern United States, we are blessed with having abundant water resources, but something we should not take for granted.   In 2016, we had an interesting election year that brought up many concerns. Also in the news, came a reminder of the limitedness of the water.  A number of regions of Pennsylvania were put on a drought advisory and many small streams, springs, and even a few shallow wells dried up, i.e., no water.  With 2016 in the rear-view mirror, I would like to suggest a few small steps to help move us forward in a positive direction.  These steps are as follows:

  1. Learn about how and where you get your drinking water – Does your water come from a private source or city water supply source?
  2. If the water is from a private well- When did you have the water tested? For parts of Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey, it is not uncommon for about 40 to 50% of private wells to have a problem that may make the user or a guest sick.
  3. If you are on a city water source- Have you ever looked at the Annual Confidence Report about the quality of your drinking water? The most common problem with community water sources is elevated levels of trace metals like lead and chlorine by-products like trihalomethanes, i.e., suspected carcinogens.  For information on water testing, please visit water-research.net.
  4. Are you using your water wisely? There are ways to use our drinking water resources more efficiently.   A website titled, wateruseitwisely.com, offers over 100 tips on how to best use water.  My favorite tip is “Turn off the water while you brush your teeth and save up to 4 gallons a minute. That’s up to 200 gallons a week for a family of four”.  There are over 4 million households in Pennsylvania, this one lifestyle change could save 41.6 billion gallons of water.  This is only one change!
  5. Our surface water and groundwater are connected, and “we all live downstream”. This phrase means that how we use the groundwater resources directly impacts the surface water resources and we all are interconnected.  Therefore, when using cleaning products, chemicals, or managing a waste we all live downstream from someone else.   For example, the biggest source of man influenced global oil pollution is not massive spills or leaks.  Only 8% of man influenced oil pollution comes from pipelines and major releases. The biggest sources are the small leaks from our boats, cars, and other means of transportation and the improper disposal of waste oil by individuals.
  6. Know Your H20? – it is important to know how you can influence the quality of the water resources, but it is also important to know the historic hazards in your community that may be contributing to a problem. With this in mind, it is important to learn about the historic hazards in your community and surrounding your home.  The Keystone Clean Water Team offers neighborhood or community hazard survey reports for communities within the Unities States.  The 501 c3 offers a few free reports each month.  To get more information about this program, please visit – knowyourh20.us.

The best way to start off the New Year is not with a significant lifestyle change, but baby steps.   Make a few basic commitments and make small changes that will help you and your family save and conserve water, check the quality of your drinking water, learn about the hazards in your community, and perhaps implement 1 item each month that will save and conserve water.   It is important to remember that the less water you use, the more money stays in your pocket.

A few short phrases we should try to remember.

We ALL Live Downstream !

Groundwater and Surface water are Connected!

We are Part of the Water Cycle – Not just an Observer!

You can help – Make A Donation !

 

 

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DEP Declares Drought Warning for Four Counties, Increases Drought Watch to 30 Counties

DEP Declares Drought Warning for Four Counties, Increases Drought Watch to 30 Counties
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has declared a drought watch for Pike County, following a meeting Wednesday of the Commonwealth Drought Task Force.

“We’re asking residents and businesses, particularly in central and eastern counties, to use water wisely and follow simple water conservation tips to ease the demand for water,” said DEP Acting Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “We suggest that public water systems that implemented water restrictions this summer continue them to preserve their drinking water supplies.”

Data from the Commonwealth drought monitoring network show that dry conditions persisting in the middle of the state and lack of precipitation in the eastern part of the state have deepened precipitation deficits, resulting in extremely low stream flow and groundwater levels, particularly in the Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas in the Delaware River Basin.

• Drought warning: Carbon, Lehigh, Monroe, and Northampton Counties. Citizens are encouraged to voluntarily reduce their water use by 10-15 percent.
• Drought watch: Adams, Bedford, Berks, Bucks, Centre, Chester, Clinton, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Luzerne, Mifflin, Montgomery, Northumberland, Perry, Philadelphia, Pike, Schuylkill, Snyder, Sullivan, Union, Wayne, and York Counties. Citizens are encouraged to reduce their nonessential water use by 5 percent.

DEP encourages all citizens to take steps to reduce their water use:

• Run water only when necessary. Avoid running the faucet while brushing your teeth or shaving, or letting the shower run for several minutes before use.
• Check for household leaks. A leaking toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water each day.
• Run dishwashers and washing machines only with full loads.
• Replace older appliances with high-efficiency, front-loading models that use about 30 percent less water and 40 to 50 percent less energy.
• Install low-flow plumbing fixtures and aerators on faucets.

DEP also offers other water conservation recommendations and water audit procedures for commercial and industrial users, such as food processors, hotels and educational institutions. These recommendations and additional drought monitoring information are available on the DEP Drought Information website.

Full press release available at: DEP’s website.

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Go Green Efficient Lighting Conservation Save Energy

Easiest Way to Go Green and Save Some Green – Efficient Lighting and Other Ways to Save Energy

 

Saving energy has become increasingly important, as recent research has made it clear that the world’s energy consumption is negatively impacting the environment and natural resources. Each day, we use energy to keep our homes comfortable, but there are some small changes that we can all make in order to reduce the amount of energy that we use. By following a few tips, you can reduce your energy consumption and environmental footprint.

Choose Energy-Efficient Lighting Options

When searching for energy-efficient lighting design options, there is a large selection available. Compact fluorescent bulbs are a great option, as they use up to 75% less energy than other choices, and they can also be used with dimmers and wall sconces. Compact fluorescent bulbs have a long life span, reducing your waste and saving money over the life of the bulb.

While choosing the right type of light is important for energy efficiency, you should also work on energy-saving activities at home. Keep notes near the light switches in each room to remind residents of all ages to turn off the lights when they leave a room. These simple reminders can also help your family to make positive, energy-saving decisions when they are outside of your home.

Use Solar Lighting

If you are looking for an energy-efficient way to power your home, investigate with an architect whether solar lighting may be able to work for you. Solar panels are made of solar cells that are arranged in grid-like patterns, and during the day, they collect sunlight and use it to create electricity. You’ll be producing your own power, so your energy bills will be dramatically lowered. However, not all buildings will be good candidates for using solar panels, so some architecture research will be needed before you can pursue this option.

Your solar energy system can also inspire others to begin producing energy, which can increase the total amount of renewable energy that is available. This makes solar energy a great way to make a difference, to improve the environment, and to become self-sufficient.

Improve Your HVAC Systems

When it comes to home climate control systems, many homeowners struggle to find a balance between comfort and energy efficiency. During the summer, you may be tempted to turn on the air conditioner immediately, but a few tips can actually help before you resort to this method. If it isn’t too warm, open the windows and let some fresh air into your home. However, if it is hot, keep the shades drawn and use fans to circulate air throughout your home.

During cooler winter months, wear additional layers to keep warm, and set your thermostat a few degrees cooler. Reduce the heat while you are out of the house or asleep, and turn it back up when you get home from work. However, it is important to consider the health needs of your family, as some people with chronic medical conditions may need their climate more rigorously controlled than others.

  • Air Conditioner Tips – Cooling and energy saving tips for air conditioner use from the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • Air Conditioner Efficiency – Tips for improving the efficiency of your air conditioner.
  • Winter-Proofing and Weatherizing – Save energy by preparing your home for colder temperatures.
  • Saving Energy during the Winter – Tips from the California Energy Commission Consumer Energy Center.
  • Heat Pumps – Suggestions for improving the energy efficiency of your home heating system.

Conserve Water

Using water in your home will also use energy. However, there are several ways that you can reduce your water use in order to lessen energy consumption. Consider simple solutions, like turning off the water in your bathroom sink until you are ready to rinse when brushing your teeth. Choose a shower over a bath in order to conserve water, and wait until your dishwasher is full before you run a load; this tip on its own could reduce your water use by nearly 1,000 gallons each month.

Also consider using cold water as often as possible. It takes a lot of energy to heat up the water used for showering, to do laundry, or to wash your dishes, so by keeping the water cold, you’ll save energy. These tips can be followed by family members both young and old, and they can make a big difference on your monthly energy bills.

Turn Off Electronics and Lights

Turning off lights and electronics when you leave a room is an essential activity for saving money and energy. Switch off your computer, radio, and TV when the items are not in use, as they will burn up energy. If you have appliances or other items that you don’t use regularly, consider unplugging them to prevent wasted energy.

At the end of the day, turn off your computer in order to cut down the amount of energy that it is using. Many homeowners don’t go through the hassle of shutting down their laptop or desktop each night, but even a computer on standby will use energy. If you are going to be away from home for a few days, unplug extension cords and surge protectors in order to further reduce your home energy use. By taking the time to complete these extra steps, you’ll be rewarded with lower energy bills.

Links Compiled by http://www.architectdesignlighting.com/

Suggestions

1. Energy Audits – learn more.
2. Green Up Your Home or Office
3. Water – Get it tested.

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Water 101 The What, Where, and How of Water

“We’ve all heard the statistics: over half of the human body is water, you should drink eight cups of water per day, and you can survive only three days without water. These numbers definitely drive home the importance of water, but no human really needs to be told how important water is to human life – it’s instinctive. What’s not instinctive is knowing exactly where our precious water comes from and how much time, effort, and money it takes to make it drinkable. Let’s start with a look at water on Earth.”

Interesting short post – you may want to check it out.

Announcement – New Nationwide Program – the Environmental Hazardous and other Issues in YOUR Community – Get Your Report!

Everything we do began with an idea.

We have offered “Free” Assistance to this effort, but if you are a private well owner that needs assistance we are happy to help.

We realize your time is precious and the world is hectic. KCWT’s volunteers do only what they’re comfortable. It can be a little or a lot.  Get YOUR WATER Tested – Discounted Screening Tests, posting articles on social media, or assisting with a local event !

For more information, please go to KCWT’s About Page or contact us.  Follow us on Twitter 

Keystone Clean Water Team is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.    Unsolicited donations are appreciated (Helps us complete our mission), but we also do local educational workshops and local cellphone/small electronic recycling programs. If you would like to set up a program to help recycle cellphones at an event, business, or other organization.  Through our program we can recycle  cell phones, iPods, game systems, and small digital cameras.  If your interested, please contact us.  Our new PSAs.

Help the Organization and Get Your Water Tested or Order the Private Well Owner Guide (proceeds benefit This Organization).  Keystone Clean Water Team!

Featured Links (Help to Support this Web-Portal)

Unique Handmade Gifts and Jewelry. 100% Fair Trade!
GiftsWithHumanity .com

Get a 30-day free trial of LifeLock Ultimate and save 10% off your final purchase!

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Careers In Energy Northeast Pennsylvania Valley View High School

Valley View High School Careers in Energy Day

Keystone Clean Water Team participated in this event.  There appeared to be over 100 students that learned about energy related careers.  Our presentation was related to all forms of energy with a focus on renewable energy, conservation, waste reduction, and the need for a National Energy Policy and Plan.  We also discussed career planning and how best to take the first step to make a positive change.  A pdf of the presentation , Careers in Energy Northeast Pennsylvania, can be found here.  In addition, the students turned in a number of old cell phones.  Great Students and Future Leaders !

 

Regional Training Courses or Programs

Featured:
Sustainability Training
Training in Energy Audits

Everything we do began with an idea.

We have offered “Free” Assistance to this effort, but if you are a private well owner that needs assistance we are happy to help.

We realize your time is precious and the world is hectic. CCGG’s volunteers do only what they’re comfortable with. It can be a little or a lot.  Get YOUR WATER Tested – Discounted Screening Tests !

For more information, please go to CCGG’s About Page or contact us.  Follow us on Twitter 

Keystone Clean Water Team is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.    Unsolicited donations are appreciated (Helps us complete our mission), but we also do local educational workshops and local cellphone/small electronic recycling programs. If you would like to set up a program to help recycle cellphones at an event, business, or other organization.  Through our program we can recycle  cell phones, iPods, game systems, and small digital cameras.  If your interested, please contact us.

Help the Organization and Get Your Water Tested or Order the Private Well Owner Guide (proceeds benefit This Organization).  Keystone Clean Water Team!

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Carbon County Magazine Celebrates 10th Anniversary

“Carbon County’s free online magazine, Carbon County Magazine, celebrates its 10th anniversary of serving the greater Carbon County region with feature stories of human interest, the arts, invention, the outdoors and the environment; and opinion articles by a contributing staff of over 50 local writers, poets and other folk who write about nearly everything.

Everything, that is, except car wrecks and police blotter items. In spite of what the daily newspapers seem to publish, Carbon County Magazine believes that Carbon County is a great place, with interesting people, and neat things to do. If it doesn’t seem that way, then you haven’t been reading Carbon County Magazine.

Carbon County Magazine is an online-only magazine, and is at: carboncountymagazine.com.  Don’t be confused. It is not one of the advertising-loaded free hand-outs at the local shop. It is only available online.”

Support Your Local Communities

Make a difference starting now!

Recycling cell phones helps the environment by saving energy and keeping useable and valuable materials out of landfills and incinerators. It also helps preserve important animal habitats by reducing the demand for Coltan. In addition to recycling cell phones and electronic waste it is critical that consumers demand conflict free electronic devices.   You can help the Keystone Clean Water Team and the Environment by recycling your cell phone.  ”

If you would like to set up a program to help recycle cellphones at an event, business, or other organization.  Through our program we can recycle  cell phones, iPods, game systems, and small digital cameras.  If your interested, please contact us.

Volunteer

We seek new people at all skill levels for a variety of programs. One thing that everyone can do is attend meetings to share ideas on improving the Program, enabling us to better understand and address the concerns of well owners.  We look for people that can forward solid articles, help coordinate local education efforts, and more.  Become part of the Keystone Clean Water Team!

Everything we do began with an idea.

We realize your time is precious and the world is hectic. CCGG’s volunteers do only what they’re comfortable with. It can be a little or a lot.  Get YOUR WATER Tested – Discounted Screening Tests !

For more information, please go to CCGG’s About Page or contact us.

Keystone Clean Water Team is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.    Unsolicited donations are appreciated (Helps us complete our mission).

Help the Organization and Get Your Water Tested or Order the Private Well Owner Guide (proceeds benefit This Organization).  Keystone Clean Water Team!

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Press Release: Role of Geosciences Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell

Contact: Maureen Moses (mmoses@agiweb.org)

For Immediate Release

EARTH: Interview with Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell

Alexandria, VA – EARTH Magazine sits down with Secretary of the Interior Sally
Jewell to discuss the role of geoscience at the Department of the Interior,
which includes the National Park Service, the U.S. Geological Survey and the
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which oversees the offshore development of
both renewable and conventional energy resources.

Secretary Jewell, who began her career as a petroleum engineer, discusses the
role of science in reconciling conflicts in the management of federal lands, and
shares how her transition from the private sector, where she was chief executive
officer of Recreation Equipment, Inc., has provided insight into the management
of DOI’s 70,000 federal employees, and the new 21st Century Conservation Corps
initiative (http://21csc.org/)

Read more online and in the April issue of EARTH Magazine: (http://bit.ly/1dP2DI0)

###

Keep up to date with the latest happenings in Earth, energy and environment news
with EARTH magazine online at http://www.earthmagazine.org/. Published by the
American Geosciences Institute, EARTH is your source for the science behind the
headlines.

###

The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of 50 geoscientific
and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists,
geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides
information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in
the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and
strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in
society’s use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with
the environment.

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How Does Groundwater Pumping Affect Streamflow?

www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=3458&from=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+usgs%2FWater+(Newsroom+-+Water+Releases)#.UKecVYXbaWU
Released: 11/16/2012

New USGS Report Describes Processes and Misconceptions Concerning the Effects of Groundwater Pumping on Streamflow

Groundwater provides drinking water for millions of Americans and is the primary source of water to irrigate cropland in many of the nations most productive agricultural settings. Although the benefits of groundwater development are many, groundwater pumping can reduce the flow of water in connected streams and rivers—a process called streamflow depletion by wells. The USGS has released a new report that summarizes the body of knowledge on streamflow depletion, highlights common misconceptions, and presents new concepts to help water managers and others understand the effects of groundwater pumping on surface water.

“Groundwater discharge is a critical part of flow in most streams–and the more we pump below the ground, the more we deplete water flowing down the stream,” said USGS Director Marcia McNutt.  “When viewed over the long term, it is one big zero-sum game.”

Groundwater and surface-water systems are connected, and groundwater discharge is often a substantial component of the total flow of a stream. In many areas of the country, pumping wells capture groundwater that would otherwise discharge to connected streams, rivers, and other surface-water bodies. Groundwater pumping can also draw streamflow into connected aquifers where pumping rates are relatively large or where the locations of pumping are relatively close to a stream.

“Streamflow depletion caused by pumping is an important water-resource management issue across the nation because of the adverse effects that reduced flows can have on aquatic ecosystems, the availability of surface water, and the quality and aesthetic value of streams and rivers,” said Paul Barlow, USGS hydrologist and author on the report. “Managing the effects of streamflow depletion by wells is challenging, particularly because of the significant time delays that often occur between when pumping begins and when the effects of that pumping are realized in nearby streams. This report will help managers understand the many factors that control the timing, rates, and locations of streamflow depletion caused by pumping.”

Major conclusions from the report:

• Individual wells may have little effect on streamflow depletion, but small effects of many wells pumping within a basin can combine to produce substantial effects on streamflow and aquatic habitats.
• Basinwide groundwater development typically occurs over a period of several decades, and the resulting cumulative effects on streamflow depletion may not be fully realized for years.
• Streamflow depletion continues for some time after pumping stops because it takes time for a groundwater system to recover from the previous pumping stress. In some aquifers, maximum rates of streamflow depletion may occur long after pumping stops, and full recovery of the groundwater system may take decades to centuries.
• Streamflow depletion can affect water quality in the stream or in the aquifer. For example, in many areas, groundwater discharge cools stream temperatures in the summer and warms stream temperatures in the winter, providing a suitable year-round habitat for fish. Reductions in groundwater discharge to streams caused by pumping can degrade habitat by warming stream temperatures during the summer and cooling stream temperatures during the winter.
• The major factors that affect the timing of streamflow depletion are the distance from the well to the stream and the properties and geologic structure of the aquifer.
• Sustainable rates of groundwater pumping near streams do not depend on the rates at which groundwater systems are naturally replenished (or recharged), but on the total flow rates of the streams and the amount of reduced streamflow that a community or regulatory authority is willing to accept.
“Conjunctive management of groundwater and surface-water resources is critical in New Mexico, where our limited surface-water supplies can be impacted by new uses that are predominantly dependent on groundwater pumping,” said Mike Johnson, Chief of the Hydrology Bureau in the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer. “This new USGS publication consolidates our understanding of the connection between aquifers and streams and provides a clear, thorough and up-to-date explanation of the tools and techniques used to evaluate streamflow depletion by wells.  This report will be very useful to New Mexico’s water managers in guiding technical analysis, dispelling common misconceptions, and explaining these complex concepts to decision makers and the public.”

The report, which is a product of the USGS Groundwater Resources Program, is titled “Streamflow Depletion by Wells—Understanding and Managing the Effects of Groundwater Pumping on Streamflow” and is available in print and online. [ http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/1376/ ]

The Groundwater Resources Program provides objective scientific information and develops the interdisciplinary understanding necessary to assess and quantify the availability of the nation’s groundwater  resources. The Program has been instrumental in documenting groundwater declines and in developing groundwater-flow models for use in sustainably managing withdrawals. The research and understanding developed through this program can provide water-resource managers with the tools and information needed to manage this important natural resource.

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communications and Publishing
12201 Sunrise Valley Dr, MS 119
Reston, VA 20192

Paul  Barlow
Phone: 508-490-5070
pbarlow@usgs.gov

Kara Capelli
Phone: 571-420-9408
kcapelli@usgs.gov

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Pennsylvanians want more electricity to come from renewable sources

live.psu.edu/story/60984#nw69
Thursday, August 30, 2012

There is broad support for increasing the amount of renewable energy production from sources such as wind in the state.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — There is broad public support among Pennsylvania residents for increased renewable-energy generation, according to a study recently conducted by researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

The research found that Pennsylvanians rate hydropower, solar electricity and wind power highest among electricity generation technologies, followed by nuclear power and natural gas. The results indicate that the average Pennsylvania household is willing to pay an extra $55 per year to increase renewable-energy production by an amount equal to 1 percent of Pennsylvania electricity consumption.

The study, “Pennsylvanians’ Attitudes Toward Renewable Energy,” was conducted by Clare Hinrichs, associate professor of rural sociology, and Richard Ready, professor of agricultural and environmental economics, with assistance from doctoral students John Eshleman and James Yoo. The project was funded by a grant from the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, a legislative agency of the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

“The dominant message that came across was that there is broad support for increasing the amount of renewable energy production in the state, and there is broad support for the state taking an active role in encouraging that,” Ready said. “The majority of Pennsylvanians support strengthening the state’s alternative-energy portfolio standard that mandates that a certain amount of electricity comes from renewable sources.”

Ready noted that researchers were surprised they did not find a single group of respondents who disagreed. Read more

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Water is the new gold, a big commodity bet

finance.yahoo.com/news/water-gold-big-commodity-bet-040352660.html
By Paul B. Farrell | MarketWatch – Tue, Jul 24, 2012 12:03 AM EDT

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (MarketWatch) — “Is water the gold of the 21st century?” asks Fortune. Answer: Yes, water is the New Gold for investors this century.

In 2010 global water generated over a half trillion dollars of revenue. Global world population will explode from 7 billion today to 10 billion by 2050, predicts the United Nations. And over one billion  “lack access to clean drinking water.”

Climate and weather patterns are changing natural water patterns. And industrial pollution is making water a scarce commodity. So the good news is that huge “opportunities exist for businesses that can figure out how to keep the pipes flowing.”
Yes, it’s a hot market. So, expand your vision for a minute. How many bottles of water do you drink a week? How much did you use for a shower? When you flushed a toilet? Wash your car? Cooking? Lattes? And my guess is your city water bill’s gone up in recent years.

So ask yourself: What happens in the next 40 years when another three billion people come into the world? Imagine adding 75 million people every year, six million a month, 200,000 every day, all demanding more and more water to drink, to shower, to cook, to everything. All guzzling down the New Gold that’s getting ever scarcer.

Population, the explosive driver in the demand for ever-scarcer water

Now here’s the real scary stuff, the investor’s basic multiplier. In the 12 short years leading up to 2011 the world added a billion people. China’s population is now 1.3 billion. Plus they’ll add another  100 million in the next generation, while India adds 600 million according to United Nations experts. Read more

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