A Monster Tech Investing Trend Making Huge Progress by Gerald Celente
The poisoning of the residents of Flint, Michigan, by lead leaching out of the city’s aged water pipes was a warning: The world, including the United States, is entering a new and alarming dimension of a clean water crisis.
I wrote in my book Trends 2000 more than 20 years ago, and have forecast repeatedly since, that the production and delivery of clean, safe water is among the most powerful and enduring global trends affecting populations worldwide.
The water crisis isn’t only driven by droughts. The crisis is now exasperated by the thousands of municipalities with water systems a century or more old.
A report published in early 2016 in the Journal — American Water Works Associationestimates that more than 6 million lead water pipes in the United States alone still link city water mains to homes where as many as 22 million people live.
But the problem isn’t just lead in the pipes. The pipes themselves are getting older.
Significant portions of most U.S. municipal water systems are more than 100 years old. There are about 240,000 water main breaks in the U.S. each year. The American Society of Civil
Engineers rates the U.S. public water system every four years and consistently assigns it a grade of “D.”
These antiquated systems leak an estimated 14–18% of the water traveling through them — some systems, such as Flint’s, are estimated to lose up to 40%.
That not only wastes water and, therefore, money, but also creates low-pressure spots where contamination can infiltrate the grid — and there’s plenty of that going on.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s most recent annual compliance report for public water supplies logged 16,802 “significant violations” of national drinking water safety standards. More than 47% of the violations were in the form of bacteria.
Some of the easiest ways to save water are to simply repair leaks and use available technology to monitor underground pipes to find where the worst leaks are. Regulating water use is a common tool.
Governments are trying a variety of ways to solve those problems. Some cash-strapped cities are turning to private water companies to help out.
But thanks to mismanagement, and private companies’ exploitation of monopoly power, efforts to ease the water crisis haven’t always worked well.