A global shortage of sand has prompted violent black market gangs to steal large amounts from rivers and beaches and even the complete disappearance of dozens of small islands.
 Sand is used as a main ingredient in cement and concrete in buildings, to make glass, in roads and in massive land reclamation projects in places like Singapore and Dubai.
 If all the sand used by humans in a single year was turned into a wall it would be 20 metres high, 20 metres wide and stretch all the way around the equator.
 According to an article published for New York Times, Sand is the essential ingredient that makes modern life possible.
 That’s mainly because the number and size of cities is exploding, especially in the developing world.
 Every year, there are more people on the planet, and every year more of them move to cities. Since 1950, the world’s urban population has ballooned to over 3.9 billion from 746 million