More than 1 billion people lack access to clean fresh drinking water. Nearly two and a half billion people lack adequate sanitation services. Preventable water-related diseases kill an estimated 20,000 children a day. Tens of millions of people have been forced to leave their homes and land to make way for the reservoirs behind new dams due to the situation of them, the availability of the water pumps to efficiently pump and transport fresh water to village water tanks is impaired due to soil erosion. Whilst more than 20% of all fresh-water fish species are endangered because of the destruction of the free flowing river ecosystems by the dams. Many irrigation practices degrade soil quality by increasing both soil erosion and its salinity while ground water aquifers are being pumped down faster (as well as polluted) than can be naturally replenished. Although approx. 90% of all fresh water use is for agriculture, almost 50% of it (treating fields) never yields any food crops due to the heat evaporation of the exposed flood water / moisture, such that it leaves the soil with toxic salt deposits that in turn stunt the crops healthy growth patterns.

While new industrial technologies and efficient sanitation and infrastructure are helping to conserve or recycle more water efficiently, modest improvements in agriculture can proportionately free up huge quantities of water. Traditional irrigation systems can require between 30% and 50% more water than through the use of drip systems. 97% of the world water is too saline and only 0.5% of the total water on Earth is fresh water, available for human use. The balance is held up in ice caps / glaciers or in deep underground aquifers and currently out of reach. An area the size of England and Wales of rainforest and woodland disappears worldwide annually. Countless fauna and flora goes with it, taking possible life-saving properties with it. One quarter of the Earth`s land is degraded dryland. One billion people, one fifth of Humanity, are at risk from loss of productivity, malnutrition and disease. When 70% of the human body`s skin is lost through burning, the condition is usually fatal. Likewise, if an eco-system is approx. 70% destroyed, the remainder is usually unable to sustain the environment needed for its own survival resulting in increased sandstorms, which in turn cause breathing difficulties for people and wildlife living downwind.

Between 1979 and 1989, the annual destruction of rainforests increased significantly with almost 21 million hectares of land degraded, and 24 billion tons of topsoil lost to an ever-increasing population. The climactic effects are felt in temperate developed countries of the North by increasing strain imposed from absorbing refugees and supporting foreign aid increases. James Lovelock, originator of the famous " Gaia Hypothesis " said, " When the forests go, the rain goes with them .... " Such are the consequences of both deforestation and desertification.

© 2005 Desertbloom Organisation/Foundation