Lake Chad: Vanishing Before Our Eyes

Lake Chad

Over the past four decades, Lake Chad has shrunk by 90% from its original size. (Photo credit: Michael Fay/Getty Images)

Lake Chad is a body of water in north central Africa, straddling the borders of Chad, Niger, Nigeria, and Cameroon. At one time, Lake Chad was one of the largest lakes in the world. Over the past four decades, however, the lake has shrunk by 90% from its original size. Once boasting a surface area of 25,000 square kilometers, it now measures around 1350 square kilometers. Climate change and high demand for irrigation are the main culprits behind the lake shrinkage. [Read more…]

Society and the Environment: Water Challenges

Safe water is a basic human necessity for cleaning, cooking, and drinking. At least one in eight people worldwide do not have access to a safe and reliable water supply.

In the United States and other developed countries it is easy to get clean water. These countries have systems to deliver water to distant places. They also have effective laws and management to preserve the water supply and have good waste collection and treatment systems. In much of the world, this is not the case. Access to clean water is one of the world’s biggest health challenges. For example, in many African countries, there is not enough water. In places where there is plenty of water, it often is contaminated with human wastes or pollutants. Thousands of people die every day from diarrhea caused by drinking unsafe water.

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