Celebrating World Water Day

In 1993, the United Nations began an international observance for water.  Since then, World Water Day has been celebrated on March 22.  This is a day to celebrate an essential building block of life.  It’s also a day to prepare for how we manage this resource in the future.

Some facts about the world’s water:

  • The earth contains about 326 million cubic miles of water. Water covers 70 to 75 percent of the planet’s surface.
  • However, humans can use only about three tenths of one percent of this water. Thirty percent of Earth’s usable water can be accessed from groundwater aquifers, rivers and freshwater lakes.  The remaining 70 percent of the planet’s fresh water is trapped in glaciers.
  • China, India, and the United States are the three biggest consumers of water. China consumes 1,207 trillion liters annually.  India consumes 1,182 trillion liters annually.  The U.S. consumes 1,053 trillion liters annually.
  • 85 percent of the world’s population lives on the driest half of the planet.
  • Ten percent of the world’s population – 650 million people – do not have access to safe water.
  • Dirty water and poor sanitation cause 900 child deaths (under five years old) every day from illnesses such as diarrhea, dysentery and cholera. This is one child every two minutes.

Agilent offers a range of advanced applications for analyzing and monitoring contaminants in drinking water, wastewater, surface water and ground water.  Our water analysis solutions help ensure water quality and protect human health.

Agilent GC and GC/MS systems are the gold standard for analyses to address global regulatory water monitoring requirements.  Scientists in Britain used an Agilent GC/MS QQQ to develop a method for detecting contaminants in wastewater, including polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), in less than 20 minutes.

The Agilent ICP-MS is the performance benchmark for routine environmental sample analysis, with an ability to detect trace elements such as chromium (Cr), arsenic (As), selenium (Se) and cadmium (Cd) in drinking water.

Scientists in Canada used an Agilent LC and LC/MS Triple-Quad to develop a method for detecting more than 50 different microsystins in Canadian fresh waters.  (Microsystins are toxins produced by freshwater algae.)

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