Water Conservation is Key for Drinking Water Infrastructure and Many Industries that Run of Water

Most of the population in the US depend on approximately one millions miles of piped drinking water with industrial control systems at risk to hackers and cyber attacks providing means and methods for the enemy to cut off water supplies for days, weeks, or months at a time.

Drinking water in the US goes beyond pipes, reservoirs, pump stations, and treatment plants to polluted water bodies, depleted aquifers, and storage problems. The production of chemicals, biotech, pharmaceuticals, automobile assembly, electronics, farming and food processing, beverage creation, apparel, forest products, mining, refining and utilities inside the US rely on clean water.

The lifting of environmental restrictions in the production of oil and gas and manufacturing combined with the new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico emphasizing manufacturing place a greater demand to update water infrastructure in the US. An estimated $1 trillion is needed to to upgrade these systems to satisfy the population demand.

In the US, 6 billion gallons of treated water is lost through leaking pipes every day.

The US needs alternative financial solutions than running the same old funding schemes and raising taxes.

Bilateral trade agreements and international public private partnerships can target funding gaps while also expanding diplomatic relations in new regions.

Currently water crisis is fueling conflicts in Iraq, Iran, and Turkey.

African countries comprise some the world's most rapidly growing populations and urbanizing spreads.

Water projects are one of the most urgently needed areas of infrastructure development in Africa and the Middle East.

National Security and Economic Threat Necessitate New Development

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, China’s mining operations are extracting mineral resources in exchange for Chinese constructed roads mainly those needed to service the mining industry. However, DR Congo is one of the most water rich countries on the continent and could be an important upstream country for the region, a major point of leverage in regional diplomacy. Almost no water infrastructure has been constructed, and the country is mostly without electricity, including hydroelectricity or energy producing water turbines.

Though Africa is famous for lacking water, there are in fact sufficient water sources on the continent, but experts continue to point to how those resources are being used to explain the real problem with water conservation in African countries. There are also energy resources that need to be developed, and to run these oil and gas operations will also take the development of water resources needed to cool those industrial systems. This presents opportunities for the US to develop these types of infrastructure projects for the people of Africa in addition to similar projects at home.

By Utilizing International Reciprocal Partnerships We Can Help Develop and Conserve Precious Resources for Survival and Global Security

The above world map shows what countries the US purchases mining material from and also shows the absence of this trade in much of Africa. In direct contrast, the USAID maps show billions of dollars poured into African countries each year. Yet, the long-term benefits of these AID programs have not worked to stabilize many of these countries and the regional conflicts continue to threaten the security of many populations. This has lead to changes in foreign policy with new interests to develop these regions in order to obtain long-term peace and stability. By opening up mining and energy to US companies, African countries can receive help with infrastructure projects such as water projects that could provide clean drinking water, better irrigation, and industrial water usage.

Perhaps one of the most beneficial effects of aquaponics farming is the elimination on the demand on commercial fertilizers that contaminate fresh water supplies.

Aquaponics Farming to Conserve Fresh Water Resources

Desertification is one of the biggest threats to farming and irrigation as well as grasslands needed to raise stock in Africa and the Middle East with water resources diminishing under the forces of climate change requiring methods to change. This use of aquaponics to grow food has taken off in the US, but the actual process of growing plants with water fertilized by fish actually dates back to ancient Egypt and the Nile River system. The modern approach uses greenhouses populated with plants and stocks of freshwater fish which can be cold or warm water fish and mixed species. These farm raised fish can sold to markets including salmon, bass, catfish, tilapia, trout, and others, or ornamental fish markets including coy fish. 

The fertilized water from the fish is pumped to the plants and back into the fish tanks using the least amount of water of any farming technique and the most food supply. The fish can also be raised for food in these tanks. For arid desert climates and extreme water conservation areas, this process would ensure the survival of entire communities. The materials needed to construct aquaponics systems can also be worked into aid programs, take very little staff to run, and require as little energy as one light-bulb.

This method would also work well in water stressed states across the US including California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas or in tight urban developments where space is limited and food demand is high or transportation limited.

In states like Colorado where rivers are contaminated, aquaponics farms using cold climate fish in tandem with river and lake clean up projects could begin restocking entire rivers and lakes with healthy fish stocks and even work towards saving some endangered fish species.

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