World Water Day: 6 Images Display The Hopes and Fears of a Crisis
In developed economies, such as the European Union, thermal and nuclear power plants can consume more than 44 percent of the water supply. Just 8 percent of global energy generation is used for pumping, treating and transporting water to consumers, according to the United Nations. Nearly 1 billion people don't have access to water around the world.
Those are the sort of figures inspired the UN's 2014 World Water Day, set for Saturday March 22, 2014. Here are a few photos and graphics from the UN's Facebook Photo competition that display the joys, fears and hopes associated with the world's water supply.
According to a UN statement released in advance of a new report, the organization is most concerned about the "bottom billion," which people who live in slums and in poverty without access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and sufficient food and energy. The UN hopes World Water Day gives more attention to this issue and can "facilitate the development of policies and crosscutting frameworks that bridge ministries and sectors, leading the way to energy security and sustainable water use in a green economy.
"Particular attention will be paid to identifying best practices that can make a water- and energy-efficient 'Green Industry' a reality."
Here are some of the UN's goals for 2014 World Water Day:
- Raise awareness of the connection between water and energy
- Get a policy dialogue started focusing on issues related to water and energy
- Use case studies to show decision makers in the energy sector and the water domain that integrated approaches and solutions can lead to greater economic and social impact
- Identify policy formulation and capacity development issues to which the UN significantly contribute
- Actively engage water and energy leaders in further developing linkages.
At first glance, you wouldn't think avocados and almonds could harm bees; but a closer look at how these popular crops are produced reveals their potentially detrimental effect on pollinators.
Migratory beekeeping involves trucking millions of bees across the U.S. to pollinate different crops, including avocados and almonds. Timothy Paule II / Pexels / CC0<p>According to <a href="https://www.fromthegrapevine.com/israeli-kitchen/beekeeping-how-to-keep-bees" target="_blank">From the Grapevine</a>, American avocados also fully depend on bees' pollination to produce fruit, so farmers have turned to migratory beekeeping as well to fill the void left by wild populations.</p><p>U.S. farmers have become reliant upon the practice, but migratory beekeeping has been called exploitative and harmful to bees. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/10/health/avocado-almond-vegan-partner/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a> reported that commercial beekeeping may injure or kill bees and that transporting them to pollinate crops appears to negatively affect their health and lifespan. Because the honeybees are forced to gather pollen and nectar from a single, monoculture crop — the one they've been brought in to pollinate — they are deprived of their normal diet, which is more diverse and nourishing as it's comprised of a variety of pollens and nectars, Scientific American reported.</p><p>Scientific American added how getting shuttled from crop to crop and field to field across the country boomerangs the bees between feast and famine, especially once the blooms they were brought in to fertilize end.</p><p>Plus, the artificial mass influx of bees guarantees spreading viruses, mites and fungi between the insects as they collide in midair and crawl over each other in their hives, Scientific American reported. According to CNN, some researchers argue that this explains why so many bees die each winter, and even why entire hives suddenly die off in a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder.</p>
Avocado and almond crops depend on bees for proper pollination. FRANK MERIÑO / Pexels / CC0<p>Salazar and other Columbian beekeepers described "scooping up piles of dead bees" year after year since the avocado and citrus booms began, according to Phys.org. Many have opted to salvage what partial colonies survive and move away from agricultural areas.</p><p>The future of pollinators and the crops they help create is uncertain. According to the United Nations, nearly half of insect pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, risk global extinction, Phys.org reported. Their decline already has cascading consequences for the economy and beyond. Roughly 1.4 billion jobs and three-quarters of all crops around the world depend on bees and other pollinators for free fertilization services worth billions of dollars, Phys.org noted. Losing wild and native bees could <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/wild-bees-crop-shortage-2646849232.html" target="_self">trigger food security issues</a>.</p><p>Salazar, the beekeeper, warned Phys.org, "The bee is a bioindicator. If bees are dying, what other insects beneficial to the environment... are dying?"</p>
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