Humanity now produces two million tonnes of sewage every day, more than our own body weight, Canadian environmentalist, Maude Barlow, wrote this week. On an annual basis it is also more water than exists in all the rivers in the world, meaning that they are overloaded with our waste.
An equally dramatic statistic is that we pump 1,600 million megalitres of ground water into the sea each year. Half of this is used in mining and one third of all water usage goes to the production of bio-fuels.
This increase has not been gradual, the last twenty years have seen a huge acceleration in the consumption of water and the effects are now starting to be felt. Cities that rely on ground water are planning to drink treated sewage as the aquifers on which they have depended dry up.