Are we running out of clean water? – Balsher Singh Sidhu

Are we running out of clean water? – Balsher Singh Sidhu

From space, our planet appears
to be more ocean than Earth. But despite the water covering 71%
of the planet’s surface, more than half the world’s population
endures extreme water scarcity for at least one month a year. And current estimates predict
that by 2040, up to 20 more countries could be
experiencing water shortages. Taken together, these bleak statistics
raise a startling question: are we running out of clean water? Well yes, and no. At a planetary scale, Earth can’t run out
of freshwater thanks to the water cycle, a system that continuously produces
and recycles water, morphing it from vapour, to liquid,
to ice as it circulates around the globe. So this isn’t really a question of
how much water there is, but of how much of it
is accessible to us. 97% of earth’s liquid is saltwater, too loaded with minerals for humans
to drink or use in agriculture. Of the remaining 3% of potentially
usable freshwater, more than two-thirds is frozen
in ice caps and glaciers. That leaves less than 1% available
for sustaining all life on Earth, spread across our planet
in rivers, lakes, underground aquifers, ground ice
and permafrost. It’s these sources of water that are being
rapidly depleted by humans, but slowly replenished
by rain and snowfall. And this limited supply isn’t distributed
evenly around the globe. Diverse climates and geography
provide some regions with more rainfall and natural water sources,
while other areas have geographic features that make transporting water
much more difficult. And supplying the infrastructure
and energy it would take to move water across these
regions is extremely expensive. In many of these water-poor areas, as well
as some with greater access to water, humanity is guzzling up the local water
supply faster than it can be replenished. And when more quickly renewed
sources can’t meet the demand, we start pumping it out of our
finite underground reserves. Of Earth’s 37 major underground reservoirs,
21 are on track to be irreversibly emptied. So while it’s true that our planet
isn’t actually losing water, we are depleting the water sources
we rely on at an unsustainable pace. This might seem surprising – after all, on average, people only drink
about two liters of water a day. But water plays a hidden role in our daily
lives, and in that same 24 hours, most people will actually consume
an estimated 3000 liters of water. In fact, household water – which we use
to drink, cook, and clean – accounts for only 3.6% of humanity’s
water consumption. Another 4.4% goes to the wide
range of factories which make the products we buy each day. But the remaining 92% of our water
consumption is all spent on a single industry: agriculture. Our farms drain the equivalent of
3.3 billion Olympic-sized swimming pools every year, all of it swallowed up by
crops and livestock to feed Earth’s growing population. Agriculture currently covers 37%
of Earth’s land area, posing the biggest threat to our
regional water supplies. And yet, it’s also a necessity. So how do we limit agriculture’s thirst
while still feeding those who rely on it? Farmers are already finding ingenious
ways to reduce their impact, like using special irrigation techniques
to grow “more crop per drop”, and breeding new crops
that are less thirsty. Other industries are following suit, adopting production processes
that reuse and recycle water. On a personal level, reducing food waste
is the first step to reducing water use, since one-third of the food that leaves
farms is currently wasted or thrown away. You might also want to consider
eating less water-intensive foods like shelled nuts and red meat. Adopting a vegetarian lifestyle
could reduce up to one third of your water footprint. Our planet may never run out of water, but it doesn’t have to for
individuals to go thirsty. Solving this local problem
requires a global solution, and small day-to-day decisions can
affect reservoirs around the world.

100 thoughts on “Are we running out of clean water? – Balsher Singh Sidhu

  1. If you're under 18 and think you might have an idea worth sharing, sign up to get our free TED-Ed Student Talk curriculum: Learn how to fine-tune your idea, and then let us help you share it with the world!

  2. Tanks to god…ahm Trump,
    the 2% frozen sweetwater will melt fast, so we have additional 2% to our 1%… we are save!
    🙂 thanks Donald!

  3. I kind of hate it when people use "olympian swimming pools" or "football fields" for measuring lengths or volumes. We have measuring systems here, hello???

  4. I am so glad TED Ed made this video. Over 15,000 scientists have claimed that if the world went vegan it would stop climate change, for the majority. Obviously, this isn't the most practical thing to do with culture and people's lack of adapting to this lifestyle, but it is a definite move towards saving our beautiful Earth.

  5. Other sites on the Internet state that the percentage of water used for agriculture is 70-75%, not 92%. So, what's the correct answer? I'm thinking 70% seems more likely.

  6. What he's saying in this video is simply not true. We did my own research and concluded that planet Earth is no where near to be depleted of water by the year 2040. At a minimum, the planet's clean water supply will run out after 1800 years, and that is excluding other factors such as rain fall. Don't believe everything you read online kids.

  7. You forgot to mention the main source of the problem: overpopulation. People in third world countries have too many children. If the population is reduced, we wouldn't need so much water or energy.

  8. Blame the 3rd world/developing nations. They are pumping out babies faster than the world can support. And they are using most of the world's natural resources, not the developed nations.

  9. Stop companies from wasting 1/3 of the food we produce. Giving food that would otherwise be thrown away from stores to the poor is probably the best we can do.The companies do the damage not an avarage human. Going vegan does pretty much nothing compared to policing even one major company

  10. we all need clean water
    for more info on a way to always have water……….

  11. Water is the next large hypercommodity. Not that it matters, but I came to that coclusion around 2007.
    Bur as with all looming crisis the guys in the top are calm ob the outside, and "the Masses' looking to them för guidace sa; "-If it should be SO bad and affect us SO necative here, they would have taken precautions amd not let it gwt out of hand!".

    Yeah right! They all waant yoouure besst….
    Where I live, in Scandinavia, we used to have rain and thick layers of snow fron Oct-Apr every year during my life (73-19). Now iys kist dru…

  12. Some of these "running out of replenishable water" facts should have been mentioned in Infinity War and emphasized by Thanos

  13. I've been saying this all along: "One of the best ways to save our planet is REDUCING FOOD WASTE!! At this point, it's a necessity for the welfare of our planet folks!

  14. Save our planet from plastic.
    Never buy bottled water again.

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  16. The corrections of various types required for atleast 50 years or till the underground water table is risen good.
    Use alternate good quality temporary materials.
    Ban on all concrete constructions like multistorey, Underground tunneling for metro projects.
    Use of crops requiring least water i.e ban on rice plantations till safe.
    The world has to control on their taste buds till the right time.
    Harvest water drop by drop by placing winter fog nets.
    Harvest rain water by everybody. Dig out water storage tanks. It's now or never.

  17. How about one of you ted Ed people become politicians and start a new era with countries joined together, and we might save the world, move to other planets, and become the ultimate species to the universe.

  18. No offense, but it might just work. P. S this is a kid, a male, who has all these ideas that might save us all, using his mom’s phone.

  19. Honestly, a great solution would be that the human population stops growing so fast. Two kids is enough folks! No need for 7 kids. It's not sustainable.

  20. Most sources seem to claim agriculture is responsible for 70% of water use, not 92%. Does annyone know where this number might come from? (,

  21. Hello @Ted-ED i have a question to your video, where do you got the informations for the video. I mean the sources ? Have a nice day also it is a very good video ^^

  22. It is not the lack of water, the amount of water on this planet has not changed. Something else has changed. I wonder what it is.

  23. Did you know that we can get our drinking water from our ocean and sea water thankfully through a process called desalination, desalination is the process of removing the salts from our ocean and sea waters to make it suitable and safe for human consumption, desalination has been used by humans since Ancient Greece, today there are around 20000 Desalination plants around the world right now currently, there are several methods of desalinating our ocean and sea water, but the 2 main methods of taking the salts out of our ocean and sea waters is reverse osmosis and thermal distillation. Many countries in Africa And The Middle East Get most of their drinking water from the seas and oceans through desalination.

  24. Ted want children, because children run on emotion and are easily manipulated.

    They already have a generation of western children believing that their parents using a garden hose to water the lawn, is causing drought in Africa and killing people.


  25. I ain’t never gonna give up meat, I don’t waste it. I ain’t that mf who only eats half a chicken wing, that wing is clean when I’m finished with it. Water problem solved

  26. Forever grateful from Michigan!
    Ensure you and all of your descendants have fresh water to the end of time. Just one acre with a private well in Michigan takes care of you and your family forever. I am a licensed real estate broker here and can help. Bart at Bartholomew James dot com.

  27. We can make all the water drinkable, just boil salt water and take the steam coming out and then we have fresh water. Simple as that.

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