Is there a World Water Crisis?
In recent years the UN and other International Organizations have pointed out as a major problem for this Century the shortage of water availability for human usage. The crisis is a widespread phenomenon but specially affects under-developed countries, where life can be seriously jeopardized due to the lack of this precious resource.
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The Water Crisis relies primarily on its distribution
Even though 2/3 of our Planet are covered by water, only 2.5% is non-salted fresh water. And from this 2.5%, almost 70% is in the form of glaciers or permanent snow.
From the remaining water available, 65% is located in only 8 countries such as Brazil, Canada and Russia. Large regions in Africa and Asia are left out with very little fresh-water due to these geographical factors.
3900 children die everyday in the World due to water-related diseases.
According to the UNESCO’s World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP), more than 3,900 children die everyday from diseases such as malaria and diarrhoea. More than 60% of the World’s population suffers from water scarcity, and millions have no other option than using polluted water to satisfy their needs.
In 2020, an additional 17% of fresh water will be required to satisfy human needs
If consumption patterns remained unchanged as of now, in 12 years-time an additional amount of more than 17% of current water available will be required. As far as people have tap water readily available in their homes, they will assume that water handiness is something obvious and natural. Average daily consumption per capita in the USA and Japan is around 350 litres: in Europe around 200 litres: as for African countries, it barely reaches 10-20 litres on average per capita
As far as we pay for the water we consume, we can use it as we wish.
In industrialised countries water tariffs have been increasing dramatically over the past years, trying to control the supply and demand for this resource. As people pay for it, they can use it without discrimination. Additionally, most of the disposed water is currently treated and purified to make it available again for consumption.
Anyway, there is no connection between water available in Industrialised Countries than in under-developed ones (say, Africa). If we stop consumption in Europe doesn’t mean that African people will have more fresh water available.
Desalination plants can rapidly overcome water scarcity.
Currently there are more than 13,000 desalination plants over the World that account for more than 1% of the total fresh water available. In places where no water was available whatsoever, now they have become net exporters like in Saudi Arabia. Governments should pursue high investments in R&D to make water distillation more efficient and implement plants in shore lines.
Countries can depend on rainfall to get more water supply
Most storm water is not used for human consumption, and is left out to run off back into the oceans. Some countries have implemented different systems to retain water in urban areas and make it available as fresh water.
In countries where rainfall is extremely minimal, possibly only a few mm a year, this is completely unworkable. They simply can't rely on rainfall as there is not enough of it.
What do you think?