For about a decade the groundwater has been sinking so fast in many areas that the number of years before people will be forced to abandon their upland villages and homes can be counted on ones fingers. This is either because their vital water supplies will have ceased to exist or will be obtainable, if at all, only at great cost.
With the sinking of the groundwater table, springs peter out, streams dry up and the soil, which ought to provide our daily bread, dies of thirst. In other places where water rises out of the Earth again, rivers break their banks and turn the countryside into swamps. In addition to this alarming quantitative shift in the distribution of water in, on and above the Earth, an even greater danger threatens: the qualitative deterioration of increasingly-scarce residual sources of water. This will render not just drinking water, but even domestic water, directly harmful to health.
Just how far the latter danger has already advanced is clearly evident in a Press article concerning an investigation of the water in Londons reservoirs and swimming pools. It appeared in the Daily Mail on 23rd August 1933. These investigations established clear proof of the presence of over a million bacteria per cm3 in the water of public swimming baths—places where thousands of people seek recreation, yet who thereby expose themselves to serious contagious diseases. If this danger already exists in constantly monitored facilities, how much greater it might be where such controls are absent. Apart from these revelations this investigation produced yet another surprise: it was established that where attempts had been made to remove this danger through chlorination, bathers experienced serious inflammation of the eyes and mucous membranes of the nose.