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Lecture 7

Lecture 7 - Trading water and Justice.pdf

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McMaster University
Earth Sciences
Luc Bernier

Trading Water and Justice 1) 4What is the name of the hurricane, expected to make landfall in the next few hours? a. Rosemary b. Sandy c. Laura d. Stacy Part 1 - Water Exports Water Exports  Have expanded suddenly with the development of the bottled water industry  Water exports have expanded suddenly with the development of the bottled water industry  This has been accompanied by the growth of bulk shipping which with the use of commissioned oil tankers although now the sipping is done in large plastic containers  For instance as part of an agreement with Israel certain countries ship water in large containers Bottled Water Consumption  Either in bottles, or large containers: varies markedly from region to region  As illustrated by this map of the world each region is identified by their water consumption in billion litres per year either the total value, the natural water consumption, the treated water consumption, small volumes and in bulk over 10 L  Western Europe is the largest overall consumer with a per capita consumption of 104 L/year/person  In comparison Eastern Europe consumes only 17L/year/person  The lowest per capita worldwide consumption is found in Asia; 8 L/year/person which reflects the overall levels of effluents Virtual Water  International “real” water trading is: a drop in the ocean in comparison to virtual water that is being traded  All food stuffs that are traded require water to produce them  Water is needed to grow crops and to provide for animals to drink Trading Water and Justice  It is also used in food processing  A country that is importing its food is using other country’s water and saving its own  This picture illustrates the amount of water needed to produce each one of these products Virtual Water and Everyday Products  Growth of international trading represents also: growth of virtual water trading  Almost every produced used as used water in its production process  Water is required to product shirts, cars, shoes and paper  This has important geopolitical ramifications  The internal security of a country that is water poor may be increased by importing foods and goods  Such a country might become dependent on foreign suppliers that might cease trading Exports/Imports of Water  European Union is the largest importer and exporter of water  The trade in real water with the European union has increase 7 times since 1960  The European union exports almost twice of what it imports  These maps show the volumes of water being traded in millions of litres Trading Water and Justice Exports of French Bottled Water  Driven by the taste for bottles water a few large players dominate the bottled water industry  Many European countries are involved in this trade o Especially France  This is a large industry exporting millions of litres of water per year and it dominated by world player s such as Evian and Perrier World Exports/Imports of Water  U.S.: main water trading partner of Canada  At the world scale outside of Europe we notice that the US are the main water trading partner of Canada  Canada exports 8 times more water than it imports  U.S.: imports 10 times than it exports  This map shows the volumes of water being traded by each country per year in millions of litre focusing on imports rather than exports  The US are net importers  Australia has a similar ratio of imports to exports o The volumes involved are however 10 times smaller Trading Water and Justice  The levels of trade in the middle east are much smaller  All the countries are net importers in general expect for Saudi Arabia Reduction in “Real” Water Trade?  Several factors now contribute to impede growth: for the first time since 1960s  There has been a reduction in recent years in the trade of real water  Several factors now contribute to impede the growth of real water trading for the first time since the 1960s  One of these factors is the success of campaigns to reduce bottled water sales  Another is better provision of safe public water supplies  Finally the credit crunch that occurred at the end of the last decade has led to a global recession has led to less disposable income, pay cuts, and unemployment  This has even impacted the trade of virtual water in 2009 and led to impacts on international shipping as cutbacks and price increases resulted from the crisis Growth over the Last 50 years  Rapid worldwide expansion has occurred since the 1980s  The trade of bottled water has grown over the last 50 years  As can be seen from this graph illustrating the trends of bottle water export since the 1960s in billions of litres of water  There has been a rapid worldwide expansion since the 1980s  Between 1997 and 2004 consumption nearly doubled and the export trade grew by 1/3  The industry is now facing opposition  It is becoming viewed more and more as unacceptable that millions spent on bottled water when there is already a safe public supply is place and that we are facing a global water crisis  It is also viewed more and more as an unnecessary product pushed by marketing Trading Water and Justice Part 2 - Water and Safety Bottled Water and Safety  The original impetus that drove bottled was the safety of public water supplies  Public supplies of water used to be a potential source of infections  This was a major factor until the end of the 20 century for the popularity of bottled water in Europe  In France and Italy people consume five times more bottled water than those living in England  Contributing also to its popularity is that bottled water is advertized as having health properties The Return of Tap Water  Arguments from environmental groups have led to a change in habits of consumers  This had led to a recent decline  For example bottled water has fallen out of favour in North America and Western Europe  For example in England a council has been created advocating for the consumption of tap water rather than bottled water  This is supported by restaurants who responded to demands from consumers  This has led to reduction in profits of bottled water companies  For instance in the first half of 2009 tens of millions of bottles were sold  This led to a decrease in 4% of sales for the Nestle brand of water Trends in Bottled Water Consumption  Predicted to reach: 280 billion L worldwide in 2012  The trends in bottled water consumption indicate that it is predicted to reach 20 billion litres worldwide in 2012  This is mostly associated to the rise in middle class in Asia which is set to reinvigorate the world consumption for instanced China and India Trading Water and Justice  Leading the charge in bottled water sales would be France  Illustrated here on this map as the top exporter of bottled water  In terms of potential consumers and therefore imports of bottled water at the end of 2011: China’s middle class was expected to reach 350 million people  Between 2010 and 2015 India’s consumption should double  This could cause the consumption of bottled water to increase faster than it did in Europe and US in the 1990s’s  Another contributing factor is the poor quality of public water supplies in China and India  These factors aren’t taken into account in this map of the major bottled water importers assembled by the united nations in 2006  As can be seen the US were the top bottled water importers The Fate of Plastic Bottles  One of the major arguments against bottled water: recycling doesn’t keep up (the fate of the plastic bottles)  The either end up in landfills or rivers and eventually reach the ocean where they become part of large garbage jars in the Pacific ocean  The breakdown of small bits are injected by birds and block their digestive tract Trading Water and Justice  In China fishing for plastic bottles is now a money making business  Further illustrating this problem, in the United Kingdom in 2008 of 13 billion bottles sold only 1/3 ended up in recycling Safety of Bottled Water  Criticized for cost: 800 to 5,000 times more expensive than tap water  Tap water, most often: less than 2 bacteria/L  General produces: 400 times more CO th2n tap water  Bottled water is also criticized for its cost which is 800 to 5,000 times more expensive than tap water  It can lead to over extraction of groundwater over wide areas  Its safety is also a concern as it doesn’t contain long acting disinfectants  Its quality is officially checked a infrequent intervals  Often high levels of bacteria for instance coli forms can be detected in bottled water whereas in tap water most often there are less than 2 bacteria/L  There are no legal limits in some countries on bacterial contamination of bottled water and no tests for pesticides or organic chemicals  There are even some objections regarding the carbon footprint of bottled water  It generally produced 400 times more CO t2an tap water  This stems from fizzy water mostly Dangers of Chlorination?  Because of the chlorination process: claims that tap water may not be safe  CHBr :3tribromomethane  Because of the chlorination there have been claims that tap water might not be safe  This is part of a counter attack of the bottled water industry  If too much chlorine is added to water and high levels of organics are present this can give ride to compounds such as tribromomethanes which are carcinogenic  This happens particularly when a source of water goes through a region where there is a lot of peat  With chlorination there are complaints about the taste of water Risks of Accidents?  If treatment not properly conducted by operators: possible health risks  With tap water this may be due to accidents or sabotage  If the water treatment isn’t properly conducted this can lead to poisoning  For instance through misuse of aluminum sulfate that is used for population  For instance this led to 295 cases of fluoride poisoning in Alaska in the 1990’s  Bottled water isn’t immune to this  High levels of benzene in Perrier water detected in 1990s by an American lab  This was the result of a mistake of a water technician Trading Water and Justice Bottled Tap Water  Tap water constitutes much of the bottled water: in the United States of America  This has raised a lot or criticism  For instance, Dasani which is sold by Coco Cola is tap water  As well as Aquifina which is sold by Pepsi and is the world’s most popular brand of bottled water  This bottled water goes through extra steps of purification o Extra filtration, disinfection, the addition and removal of minerals, dechlorination, UV disinfection  In Canada the source of this bottled tap water is Calgary and Brampton tap water The Dasani Debacle in Europe  Opposition against label that it was “pure” water: when in fact it was contaminated  Dasani faced a debacle in Europe due to opposition of its self proclaimed label that it was pure water when in fact it was contaminated  Water suppliers in England took offense at the implication that their water wasn’t clean  Consumers objected to tap water being sold to them when they expected spring water and paying 3,000 times more for it  The water was also found to be contaminated with bromide which is a carcinogen  With levels that were more than 2 times above the permitted limit of 10 mg/L  As a result half a million bottles had to be recalled Emergency Supplies  Often a first step in restoring public order and confidence  Restoring access to water is often the first in restoring public order and confidence in situations of emergency  Bottled water is absolutely essential in emergency relief in natural disaster and war  Public water supplies are among the first impacted by earthquakes and therefore bottled water is a prime essential  For instance after the tsunami in the Indian ocean in 2004 the influx of sea water into wells and surface waters contaminated the public water supplies  For instance in Haiti in 2010 homes and pipelines were destroyed and bottled water was brought by American helicopters based on carriers offshore  The same can be said after the tsunami in Japan in 2011 or in Iraq and Afghanistan after the military invasions Bottled Water and Climate Change  Climate change may contribute to increase in demand for bottled water worldwide: e.g. Asia  For instance during droughts or breakdowns in public water supplies  Part of the projected increase in bottled water consumption in Asia is from households that are stockpiling for droughts which are aggravated by climate change Trading Water and Justice Part 3 - Trading of Water Trade in Water-Rich Drinks  Since the late 1990s: new category of “enhanced water” has emerged  Enhanced in terms of its composition (juices, wines, liquors)  Bottled water in India and China  Soft drinks in Canada  There is a lot of water embedded in the production of these drinks  E.g. Wine on average is 87.5% made of water Trading Water and Justice  Map 1 is exports o Some of the largest exporters are China, US, Brazil, Mexico  Map 2 is imports o The diameters of the circles is how much water in imported o The US is the largest importer o Canada is the second largest o US imports 5 times more than Canada Trading Virtual Water  Used to produce a product: between 15-20% of water problems linked to exports  Mexico is gaining come water from North America  Countries that have drier climates have higher numbers of water importing per year; they are red o They have a large deficit because they have to import water Average National Footprint  Reveals the extent to which consumption in one nation impacts water elsewhere  US have the highest footprint  Canada isn’t that far behind  Italy and India have lower numb3rs because of higher water demand  Average world citizen: 1,200 m /year  US: 6,000 L of virtual water per day  China: 2,000 L of virtual water per day Trading Water and Justice Total Footprint of Nations  American consumption relies heavily on: imports to sustain itself  This doesn’t account for population size  India and China have huge footprints that are larger than the US
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