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Water Security: A Widespread Crisis

Trash+and+oil+washed+up+on+the+beach+of+Pensacola%2C+Florida.
Trash and oil washed up on the beach of Pensacola, Florida.

Trash and oil washed up on the beach of Pensacola, Florida.

Photo Credit Tech Sgt. Emily F. Alley

Photo Credit Tech Sgt. Emily F. Alley

Trash and oil washed up on the beach of Pensacola, Florida.

Shania Campbell

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It’s widely known that plenty of people around the world don’t have direct access to food or clean water, but there’s more to it than you think. Everyday around the world, communities struggle to stay healthy, drink clean water, and eat affordable food. Too much of the world turns a blind eye to these issues since they don’t affect them personally, but with a bit more information and details, more people can learn to pay attention to this problem.

Lower income communities around the world have to fight for access to clean water. Flint, Michigan, for example, is continuously fighting with the government for a chance to be given back the clean water that was taken from them. The color of their tap water ranges from light yellow to dark brown and is considered toxic from the levels of lead discovered. The reason behind this dangerous situation is in 2014 the city switched their source for tap water to the Flint River, but didn’t use a corrosion-control treatment to control the rust contained in the pipes. From this mistake, thousands of citizens can only drink bottled water from other locations.

Poor countries have the biggest issues with direct access to clean water. In Haiti, 70% of the citizens don’t have direct access to potable water and ¾ of the population lives with less than two US dollars everyday. They depend on garbage-filled rivers for water to complete their daily tasks and even use it for cooking and drinking when water becomes too expensive or they don’t have access to clean water. The poverty rates are extremely high because most of Haiti is too poor to pay for things, so they need to depend on themselves to survive and get water even when it’s not clean.

The price of food has risen because of an issue with clean water in many places, making it difficult for people in other locations around the world to buy and eat food. By 2008, more than 925 million people worldwide went into poverty because the prices of food increased too much and they couldn’t afford it. With a world population expected to grow to 9 billion by 2050, there’s a high chance millions more will be in poverty because, even now, only 2% of the population in developed countries grow food or breed animals. With less people farming to produce food, the price jumps up and less people can afford to eat what stores are selling.

Florida also has a high chance of having more polluted water in the future, even though it has plenty of ocean water, inlets, rivers, and lakes. Pensacola and Jacksonville are two of the most polluted waters in Florida and are both in the top ten cities with polluted waters in America. Pensacola’s water contains 21 different chemicals exceeding health guidelines. Most people don’t know about Jacksonville’s St. Johns River being chemically polluted from poorly treated wastewater, fertilizer run-off, and failing septic tanks. Over time, the river turned into a sickly green color and dead fish have been found washed up on the shore multiple times from the toxins in the river. The Satellite Beach’s local Indian River Lagoon has had an environmental degradation within the last few decades because of solid waste pollution, excess fertilizer runoff that contributes to algae blooms, fuel spills, sewage intrusion, and much more. If bodies of water in Florida continue to decline in cleanliness and quality, Satellite Beach can be affected in the future.

Water and food security is a problem many people don’t talk or even know about, but it’s a rising issue in the world. Over 30% of food produced worldwide gets wasted, which could be used to help other people who don’t have direct access to things like that. Maybe instead of wasting water like everyone else does in their daily routine, you can save it for others who need it more.

 

Sources:

About the Writer
Shania Campbell, Staff
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My name is Shania Campbell and I’m in my second year as a Telstar staff member. I’m a very secretive and quiet person with just about everyone, so, if you’ve met me, don’t take it personally.

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