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- Hey, what's up, everybody?
We're here at the world famous
Exploratorium in San Francisco
and before we get started, I need some water.
Why am I eating chips in the first place?
Excuse me, ma'am, do you guys
have a water fountain somewhere?
Right over there?
Thank you so much.
Well, folks, as water becomes more scarce,
drinking toilet water is gonna become a reality
for a lot of us,
so get used to it.
Is it just me or does it seem like there's more
news about water shortages?
Like, take what's happening in Cape Town, South Africa
where the city is in such short supply
that they're limiting residents' water
and fining people who go over.
It's so bad that government officials are even showing up
to the most heavy water users' houses
and publicly shaming them.
Just imagine, they just kick down your door
with cameras everywhere like, yo!
You flushed your toilet 10 times,
it's not even 9:00 a.m. yet.
That's a show I might watch, actually.
And I live in California where we just came out
of a really long drought where we had big water restrictions
like bans on watering lawns or washing cars
with hoses that don't have shut-off nozzles.
On the bright side, it was a good excuse
to have a dirty car.
So, with all these stories about water shortages,
is the world running out of water?
First, I wanna acknowledge that lack
of clean water is already a major problem
for many parts of the world.
Over two billion people end up having
to drink contaminated water
because they don't have access to the clean stuff,
and because of this, more than half a million
children die every year.
In fact, ensuring access to clean water
and sanitation is a major goal of the United Nations.
Now, it's no secret that we all need water to survive.
We drink it, we grow our food with it, we bathe in it,
and some of us even use it for water ballon fights.
And it's also used in a lot of industries,
like manufacturing and power plants.
And because water is so awesome,
we're using it up faster than we can replace it.
According to the World Health Organization,
by 2025, half of the world's population
won't have enough clean water
to meet their basic needs during certain times of the year
and that's a major problem.
So, you might be thinking, wait a minute,
isn't water a renewable resource?
I mean, we all learned about the water cycle.
Water doesn't just go away, it just changes states
as it evaporates, rains or snows, and melts.
And what about all those crazy rainstorms
and hurricanes we keep hearing about?
Those are dropping tons of water on the planet,
so we can't possibly be running short, can we?
Those are all really good points,
but it's a little more complicated than that.
I'll let my robot friend, Blocko, explain.
- Thanks, Myles.
Hey, there, everyone, I'm Blocko from Life Noggin.
So, a bit part of the problem is
that not all of the water on Earth is usable.
About 95.6% of it is in the oceans
which isn't exactly drinkable.
Of the remaining fresh water,
about 68% is stored in ice and glaciers,
so most of the Earth's drinking water comes
from fresh water lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater.
Groundwater is all the water stored below
the Earth's surface, in soil, in between rocks,
and in aquifers.
As water evaporates, rains, snows, and melts,
it's constantly moving,
so some places can get lots of water
while others are super dry.
- Thanks for that, Blocko, it was good seeing you.
- You, too, Myles and don't forget to keep on thinking.
- And you stay above the noise.
Man, I love that guy.
So, as Blocko explained, water availability varies
by region, so it's not like one place
that's flush with water can necessarily give it
to a far away place in need.
And even when we get crazy rainstorms
in drought-stricken areas,
all that rain doesn't necessarily soak into the ground
where it can replenish groundwater and make itself useful.
Instead, it can create big problems like flooding
and mudslides.
So, while the world's not running out of water per se,
as our population grows, the demand for water will increase
and lack of usable water will become a real issue
for a lot of places.
In fact, according to the United Nations,
by 2030, lack of water could end up
displacing 700 million people.
That's more than double the population of the U.S.
So, why is this happening?
For one, some places are pumping
their groundwater faster than rain
and snowmelt can refill it.
In fact, some cities like Mexico City, Beijing,
and even places in California Central Valley are sinking
as the groundwater is drained.
Another reason, just bad water management.
I mean, not to point fingers or anything,
but that's partially why Cape Town
is in this whole water mess.
The national government didn't really respond well
to the city's warning about water shortages.
Then there's the problem of lack of infrastructure
or just bad infrastructure.
In the U.S., leaking pipes cause us
to waste six billion gallons of treated water a day.
That's equal to about 9,000 Olympic-size swimming pools
of water that goes to waste daily.
That's crazy, and climate change isn't helping the matter.
As Earth warms up, scientists anticipate that droughts
and floods will become more intense.
Okay, so that's the bad news,
but the good news is, we can do something about it.
For starters, we can get better at conserving water,
like replacing water-guzzling grass lawns
with native plants, taking shorter showers,
fixing leaks, buying water-efficient appliances,
and if it's yellow, let it mellow,
and this actually works.
During California's drought, urban areas cut water use
by 24% using these kinds of conservations efforts.
Then there's desalination plants
that turn ocean water into fresh water,
but they're also super expensive and energy intensive.
My personal favorite, though,
is to get better at recycling waste water.
Israel, for example, recycles 87% of their waste water
and uses it to water crops.
The next highest country is Spain
which recycles only 20% of their water.
And in California, we're getting closer
to actually drinking our recycled toilet water,
like Orange County super cleans it
and pumps it into the ground which eventually makes its way
to the drinking supply.
Don't worry, though, it's not like you're just
dipping your cup into the toilet.
This water passes all the health standards and taste tests.
Way to go, Orange County.
So, we wanna know, how worried are you
about water shortages
and what kinds of things would you be willing to do
to reduce your water use?
Let us know in the comments below.
Thanks, guys, bye.
And before I go, we gotta give a big thanks
to Life Noggin and Blocko,
you guys are awesome as always.
Thanks for sharing your wealth of knowledge with us.
And if you like this video,
you should check out our video on why vaping is so popular
and our other video on if trolls are born or made, whoa.
Till next time, guys.


Is Earth Running Out of Water? (feat. Life Noggin)

61 タグ追加 保存
顏宇成 2018 年 12 月 24 日 に公開
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