From Seattle to Los Angeles, anywhere from 50 to 80 percent of the water people use comes from mountain snow. Snow falls in the mountains in the winter, where it's stored as snowpack until spring and summer when it flows down the mountains into reservoirs. It's a clean, reliable source of water. But soon, it may become less dependable, thanks to climate change.
Pakistan is facing tremendous water issues. This summer's flooding has left millions of people without homes and without access to clean drinking water. But water issues - both quantity and quality - are not new to this strategically important country. Waterborne diseases account for 30 percent of all deaths in Pakistan, and kill some 250,000 children each year. Per capita water availability in Pakistan is less than one-ninth of what it is in the U.S. And what's more, researchers say if Pakistan doesn't manage its water resources differently, it's going to actually run out of water. This month, EARTH magazine explores the various facets of Pakistan's water issues.
Safe and clean water is central to American life. We expect safe water from every faucet any time we want, and most economic activity relies on readily available and clean water. The American Geological Institute's (AGI) publication, Water and the Environment examines how science addresses many of the issues central to providing clean and safe water for society.