How Industrial Water Softeners Will Shape Our Future
Water politics, in general, are concerned with the availability of water and water resources, and their necessity to all life on our planet. However, it should be noted that, in many regions, it is not a lack of water that is of concern, but rather a lack of clean water. Therefore, it seems more apt to discuss the politics of water treatment, rather than just water itself.
Fresh water is a critical resource, and a fundamental requirement of all living organisms. In 2001, then-Secretary General of the UN Kofi Annan stated that “Access to safe water is a fundamental human need, and, therefore, a basic human right. Contaminated water jeopardizes both the physical and the social health of all people.”
Often times it is large corporations who create this contaminated water. They do it either through gross negligence, or not having a proper industrial water softener to purify the water. Commercial water softeners prevent corporations from having to use more labor intensive processes to soften the water, like reverse osmosis.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that every human being on Earth requires a bare minimum of 20 liters of fresh water per day for basic hygiene (roughly 7.3 cubic meters of water per year). In countries where widely available water treatment systems and programs are in place, this “bare minimum” is often greatly exceeded. In the United States, for example, average water use per person per year is approximately 2,000 cubic meters, the world’s highest per capita. Also, through the use of industrial water softeners, like the ones made by Robert B. Hill Co., the water in the United States is soft, which makes it easier on the body and skin.
Precipitation from the atmosphere, part of our planet’s ever-active water cycle, is our primary source of fresh water. Though the majority of the earth’s surface is covered in water, only three percent of this water is fresh water (and of that three percent, over two thirds is frozen in glaciers and polar ice caps). This leaves all of humanity, over seven billion people, to share a very scarce resource.
The one-third of Earth’s fresh water that is not locked in glaciers or polar ice caps exists as ground water or surface water. Both of these sources require extensive filtration and other treatment processes before they’re fit for human consumption. Industrial water softeners play a large roll in the treatment of water. Additionally, a significant portion of the world’s supply of clean water is used in industries such as forestry, agriculture, mining, and manufacturing. Ironically, in addition to depleting the supply of fresh water, many of these processes also lead to increased water pollution.
Rivers and lakes are a primary source of surface water. As they often flow through or border several countries, the supply, allocation, control, and use of their water can be of great importance. Control of its water resources is essential to a nation’s survival, and competition for these shared water resources have often caused or been additive factors to political conflicts between countries.