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  • From space, our planet appears to be more ocean than earth.


  • But despite the water covering 71% of the planet's surface, more than half the world's population endures extreme water scarcity for at least one month a year.

    但即使水覆蓋了星球表面的 71%,全世界有一半以上的人口仍需忍受一年中至少有一個月的極端水資源缺乏

  • And current estimates predict that by 2040, up to 20 more countries could be experiencing water shortages.

    近期有個預測則估計在 2040 年之前,最多會有 20 的國家面臨水資源短缺

  • Taken together, these bleak statistics raise a startling question: are we running out of clean water?


  • Well yes, and no.


  • At a planetary scale, Earth can't run out of freshwater thanks to the water cycle, a system that continuously produces and recycles water, morphing it from vapour, to liquid, to ice as it circulates around the globe.


  • So this isn't really a question of how much water there is, but of how much of it is accessible to us.


  • 97% of earth's liquid is saltwater, too loaded with minerals for humans to drink or use in agriculture.

    地球上 97% 的液體是鹹水,含有太多礦物質以至於無法讓人拿來喝或是用在農業上

  • Of the remaining 3% of potentially usable freshwater, more than two-thirds is frozen in ice caps and glaciers.

    在剩下 3% 潛在可用淡水中,有二分之三以上被凍在冰帽與冰河中

  • That leaves less than 1% available for sustaining all life on Earth, spread across our planet in rivers, lakes, underground aquifers, ground ice and permafrost.

    最後剩下少於 1% 可以用來維持地球上生命的水,在我們的星球上分散於河流、湖泊、地下水、陸地上的冰與永久凍土中

  • It's these sources of water that are being rapidly depleted by humans, but slowly replenished by rain and snowfall.


  • And this limited supply isn't distributed evenly around the globe.


  • Diverse climates and geography provide some regions with more rainfall and natural water sources, while other areas have geographic features that make transporting water much more difficult.


  • And supplying the infrastructure and energy it would take to move water across these regions is extremely expensive.


  • In many of these water-poor areas, as well as some with greater access to water, humanity is guzzling up the local water supply faster than it can be replenished.


  • And when more quickly renewed sources can't meet the demand, we start pumping it out of our finite underground reserves.


  • Of Earth's 37 major underground reservoirs, 21 are on track to be irreversibly emptied.

    地球上 37 個主要的地下水庫中,有 21 個被追蹤的水庫已不可逆地乾涸

  • So while it's true that our planet isn't actually losing water, we are depleting the water sources we rely on at an unsustainable pace.


  • This might seem surprisingafter all, on average, people only drink about two liters of water a day.


  • But water plays a hidden role in our daily lives, and in that same 24 hours, most people will actually consume an estimated 3000 liters of water.

    但水卻在我們的日常生活中扮演了隱藏的角色,同樣 24 小時內,大部分的人實際上使用了約 3000 公升的水

  • In fact, household waterwhich we use to drink, cook, and cleanaccounts for only 3.6% of humanity's water consumption.

    事實上,居家用水,我們用來喝、煮飯、打掃用的,只占了 3.6% 的人類用水量

  • Another 4.4% goes to the wide range of factories which make the products we buy each day.

    另外的 4.4% 進入範圍廣泛的工業,來製造我們每天購買的產品

  • But the remaining 92% of our water consumption is all spent on a single industry: agriculture.

    最後佔我們用量 92% 的水全都用在了一個產業上:農業

  • Our farms drain the equivalent of 3.3 billion Olympic-sized swimming pools every year, all of it swallowed up by crops and livestock to feed Earth's growing population.

    我們的農場每年消耗了近 33 億個奧林匹克規模游泳池的水,全被農作物和家畜所吸收,以養活地球上成長的人口

  • Agriculture currently covers 37% of Earth's land area, posing the biggest threat to our regional water supplies.

    近期的農業覆蓋了地球 37% 的土地面積,為我們的區域水源供給帶來了最大的威脅

  • And yet, it's also a necessity.


  • So how do we limit agriculture's thirst while still feeding those who rely on it?


  • Farmers are already finding ingenious ways to reduce their impact, like using special irrigation techniques to grow "more crop per drop", and breeding new crops that are less thirsty.


  • Other industries are following suit, adopting production processes that reuse and recycle water.


  • On a personal level, reducing food waste is the first step to reducing water use, since one-third of the food that leaves farms is currently wasted or thrown away.


  • You might also want to consider eating less water-intensive foods like shelled nuts and red meat.


  • Adopting a vegetarian lifestyle could reduce up to one third of your water footprint.


  • Our planet may never run out of water, but it doesn't have to for individuals to go thirsty.


  • Solving this local problem requires a global solution, and small day-to-day decisions can affect reservoirs around the world.


From space, our planet appears to be more ocean than earth.



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B1 中級 美國腔 TED-Ed 地球 資源 農業 用水 地下水

乾淨的水資源要完全消失了嗎? (Are we running out of clean water? - Balsher Singh Sidhu)

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    Vvn Chen 發佈於 2018 年 12 月 09 日