While offshore oil spills are the target of much media attention, the fact is that most water pollution is not caused by big tanker spills. Rather, water pollution avoidance requires a focus on the land and inland waterway spills and runoffs, who all together do much more to damage our drinking water than offshore marine spills. In fact, According to the US National Academy of Sciences publication, “Oil in the Sea” (2002)5 ; “Nearly 85 percent of the [110 million liters] of petroleum that enter North American ocean waters each year as a result of human activities comes from land-based runoff…[while] less than 8 percent comes from tanker or pipeline spills”. However, in order to enable more efficient and timely water pollution avoidance, what is required is persistent surface water monitoring.
Water supply desalination intake protection
As water tables drop, and as their salinity and contaminant concentration rises, many coastal regions are turning towards desalinization as a way to ensure secure water supply for their populations. In Israel, for example, nearly 50% of the nations potable water is supplied via state of the art desalination plants. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine Israel maintaining its dense population and relatively high quality of life without these plants.