WATER- 3 billion people are dying for it. Australia vs Afghanistan

The majority of Sydney's drinking water is supplied from rainwater stored in lakes surrounded by some of the most unspoilt, native bushland in the area which includes world heritage national parks.
  • 80% of the water that is supplied to the people of greater Sydney, is derived from Lake Burragorang at Warragamba.
  • Our drinking water meets the goals set by the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines which are known as some of the strictest in the world.
  • WaterNSW's is able expertise and monitor the water's quality, ensuring they select the best quality source water for us to filter.
  • The NSW Chief Health Officer is responsible for issuing methods and advice to the public regarding measures available to minimise risk from disease, which can involve water-borne disease.
Afghanistan is viewed as the worst in the world when looking at the statistics of availability of access to safe drinking water. Afghanistan uses a different approach to access water, through pumps through a groundwater system.
  • Only 27% of Afghanistan's population are open to the access of improved water sources, which decreases to 20% in rural areas, there making it the lowest percentage in the world.
  • Afghanistan is majorly covered by harsh desert and basically, the supply of water is used for irrigation, drinking, and maintenance of wetland ecosystems, derived from rivers.
  • The mountains of Afghanistan have always served as a natural storage facility and source of water. In fact, more than 80% of Afghanistan's water resources originate in the Hindu Kush Mountains.
  • According to a statistic made by the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, 59% of the water in the urban regions of Kabul is contaminated with bacteria, 47% exceeded the safe limit for nitrates set by the World Health Organisation, and 66% of them exceeded limits for salinity.
Rainfall is recorded as being the highest in Australia’s tropical north and Tasmania. The demand for water is highest in the more densely settled parts of the continent, Yet Australia's water is not yet equally distributed.
  • Agricultural water use has decreased to 15%, with the recorded usage of 9.8 million megalitres in 2014-15.
  • Nationally, Agricultural businesses were estimated to have used 9.0 million megalitres of water in 2014-15 to irrigate 2.1 million hectares of crops and pastures. This was a 17% decrease in the volume of irrigation water used and a 9% decrease in area irrigated, when compared to 2013-14.
  • On Australian farms, irrigation channels and pipelines continued to be the main source of water, representing 43% of total water sources, which is 4.2 million megalitres, decreasing 5% from 2013-14.
  • The Mining industry has accounted for 4% of water consumption by the Australian industry in 2009–10, with Metal ore mining consuming the greatest amount -61% of water.
Prior to war, one of the major casualties in Afghanistan, has been the destruction of infrastructure that supplies people with a clean water source. The demand for water is severely growing due to increasing growth in population, industrialisation, agricultural needs, and socio-economic improvements,
  • The war is not the only main cause of poor quality of water, geographical constrains, climate change and the lack of education of clean water and sanitation also adds to the issue.
  • The country often fails to use its available water resources adequately, and there are currently no ideas in place to conserve them.
  • Sustainable water and sanitation systems have been developed in the cities and towns, and the resources needed to assist them are now in place.
  • In July 2012, the government introduced a new water tariff, which has significantly increased the income of the water utilities. In Kabul, for example, the proportion of ‘paid for’ water has increased from 37% to 54%.
Australia, as a country is extremely vulnerable to droughts, where various regions are capable of suffering severely.
  • Ideas and operations of conserving water have been highly influenced by the government, through costly fines and strict, enforced laws.
  • There are more than four million people in Sydney whose water supply is reliant on the Illawarra, the Blue Mountains and the Southern Highlands, which are supported by the catchments of the Warragamba, Upper Nepean, Blue Mountains, Shoalhaven, and Woronora river systems.
The groundwater recharge mostly from riverbed exfiltration, and rainwater. Shallow groundwater is currently the most important drinking water resource for the inhabitants of Kabul.
  • Despite the fact that Afghanistan is rich in ground and surface water- supplied from springs and rivers, where a huge amount of this water is wasted or flows, unused into the neighbouring countries of Iran and Pakistan.
  • The water in Afghanistan is pumped up by countless hand-pumped wells throughout the city, accounting for 85 % of the total supply.

Worldwide Management Strategies

  • Action is being taken in some countries in order to encourage people to use less water and create a more sustainable water supply through harvesting and water conservation.
  • This can be done via a simple home monitoring device which can help families reduce their consumption and their water bill. Legislation has already been introduced in the US and Australia which encourages and rewards people who collect rainwater and it is expected this will become more widespread in the coming years.

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Created By
Arabella Riepler
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Created with images by 3345408 - "faucet fountain water dispenser"

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