Sand Shortage English Learning


This short video shows many of the things mentioned in the article above. You may need to follow the link and watch it on Youtube. This is a more detailed article from the NY Times.

World Sand Shortage

Sand is used in many different products, glass, computers, plastics, and paint. It is even used in some foods and cosmetics. Of course, the building industry is the biggest consumer of sand because most buildings are made using concrete. The average house takes about 200 tons, a large hospital building 3500 tons, and a kilometer of freeway 40,000 tons.

As the world population increases, so does the need for sand. But where will it come from? Traditionally sand was taken from beaches and riverbeds. This has been banned in most areas, a beach without sand, is not a nice place to be, and removing sand from rivers causes flooding. Most of sand we use these days is dredged from the seabed, but the negative effects of this are already beginning to show. Seventy percent of the world's beaches are getting smaller every year. Islands are disappearing, and wildlife is suffering. The worldwide shortage of sand is becoming a major issue.

The search for something to replace sand is on. Crushed glass, seashells or even recycled concrete from old buildings. Why not desert sand? Unfortunately, it is too fine and smooth for building. We can only hope that an answer will be found soon.

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