“Water, water, everywhere, nor a drop to drink. “ -Samuel Taylor
Water crisis is one of the major problems which our world is facing right now. It’s been predicted that if there is to be a third world war then it would be fought because of water.
So what is water crisis?
In simple terms, it can be defined as the lack of availability of water resources to meet the demand within a region.
We are living in a world where nearly 3/4th of the earth’s area is covered by water. But the question is how much of it is drinkable? The answer is only 2.5% is fresh but only 1% is accessible because most of it is trapped in snowfields and glaciers. So it’s very clear that fresh accessible water makes up to a very small fraction in the total water quantity.
Only 0.007% of water is available to feed its booming population of 7 billion. According to WWE 1.1 billion people lack access to water and almost 2.7 billion find water scarce for at least one month a year.
More than 1/3rd of Africa’s population lacks access to clean and safe drinking water. By 2050, five times as much land is likely to be under “extreme drought”. If something is not done by today, then we maybe late forever for tomorrow.
Causes of Water Crisis
There are a lot of causes for water crisis. But some of the most important points to be focussed on are as follows:
Pollution: water pollution is a huge problem and can origin from anything such as oil spillage, chemical disposal, bad sewage system, faecal matter deposition, etc. most of the water in rural areas is terribly polluted due to poor sanitation and lack of water water treatment plants.
Overuse and misuse of water: water is always overused by people for whom it’s available. Its takes over 11,000 litres of water to produce a pound of coffee and an average toilet uses 8ltrs of clean water in a single flush. This leads to more water being wasted for pointless reasons and more crises.
Climate change: As the earth’s temperature continues to rise, there has been a significant amount of impact o our freshwater resulting in severe droughts or severe floods. Its changing the way water evaporates and where it rains.
Conflicts: Conflicts over land and water is common but it ends up resulting in loss of agriculture and deaths. There should be the distribution of water irrespective of caste, creed, sex, religion and nationality.
Distance: A lot of Middle East countries face this problem just because they are not able to access water due to a huge distance and lack of transportation. In many developing nations, 226 million women spend 6 hours every day just fetching water which are often polluted
Agriculture: It uses 70% of the world’s accessible water but 60%of it is wasted due to leaky irrigation system.
Population growth: Human population has doubled in the last 50 years and the demand for water has quadrupled .41% of world’s population lives in river basin that are under water stress.
Diseases: unhealthy water leads to a lot of waterborne diseases like malaria. Many developing countries still drink low quality water from flowing streams which are highly contaminated leading to death. Every 90 second a child dies from a water related disease.1 million people are killed by sanitation, water and hygiene related diseases every year. The third leading cause of child death is diarrhoea caused by contaminated water
Education: children are the one who are often responsible for collecting water for their families and that’s how water crisis and education relates. It is because they have to wake up every morning and spend several hours just trying to fetch water. In many other places, girls and women are not allowed to go to school just because they have to sped their time in fetching water for their families,
Poverty: 260 billion money is lost globally due to lack of basic water and sanitation lack of water means less amount of time given to economic activities. Access to water is the key to economic prosperity and better standards of living.
Ecosystem: habitat loss happens due to the process of desertification causing the loss of plants and wildlife. This results in food shortage for the animals which in turn disturbs the whole food chain. The Aral Sea was the world’s fourth largest freshwater lake which has now been reduced to almost one third in only 30 years because the water has become salty and which In turn destroyed the ecosystem within it.
Countries affected by Water Scarcity
Sub Saharan Africa is the among the regions with the greatest drinking water spending needs and right now 319 million people are without access to reliable water resources.102 million people of the 159 million people are still using surface water to live. It loses 40 billion hours per year in collecting water it is same as the entire years labour in France.
In Europe, countries are suffering recurring drought. In Australia which is world’s driest continent, people are being affected by salinity. In Japan, contamination of water is still a serious issue. In London, leakage and loss is estimated to be 300 Olympic size sliming pools daily.
- Recycling of water
- Improvement in irrigation which will help in using water to its fullest potential
- Improvement of sewage system can be done to get rid of water borne diseases.
- Water conservation technologies like roof water conservation, rainwater conservation, etc
- Spreading awareness about the opportunities which people can have if they start using water properly and start conserving it
- Use of sustainable water conservation for a better living
We can make a difference in our life everyday and it’s not impossible. We just need to be well determined to finish it. This is a very big issue to deal with but if we work hard we are sure that it will make a widespread difference and we are going to live in a world which is much better than yesterday’s economic and health conditions.