“Water scarcity or water crisis or water shortage is the deficiency of adequate water resources that can meet the water demands for a particular region.” - EarthEclipse.com
- 1.1 billion people currently lack access to water
- 2.7 billion people experience a water shortage at least one month a year
- By 2025, as much as two-thirds of the world population of the world could be experiencing a water shortage
CAUSES OF WATER SHORTAGES
Agriculture - Consumes 70% of all freshwater used by humans, 60% of which is wasted through leaky and inefficient irrigation. Pesticides and fertilizers are washed into streams, and also leech into groundwater.
Pollutants - Along with the pesticides and fertilizers, industrial waste is also dumped into water. This effects can take years to be noticed, and contaminated water can spread many diseases.
Population Growth/Overuse - In the 20th century, the world population tripled, and demand for fresh water increased six times. Demand for energy and supplies also increases water demand.
EFFECTS OF WATER SHORTAGES
Widespread Famine - Without water, crops cannot be irrigated, forcing places to ration and import food if they can
Damaged Ecosystems - The Aral Sea has lost an area equal to Lake Michigan, and can no longer support the areas around it. Wetlands, which provide flood protection, a valuable habitat, and farmland, are disappearing.
Disease - Dirty water is responsible for the spread of diseases such as Cholera and Typhoid Fever. Studies have also connected a constant lack of water with mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety
Lack of Opportunity - Water shortages limit education, as kids often have to leave school to help their family. It also keeps people in poverty due to high prices for basic goods. The UN also states that water shortages could limit economic growth over the next decade.
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE
Governments - World leaders need to put heavy investments into infrastructure and technology. As mentioned before, 60% of water used in agriculture is wasted. A massive repair of irrigation systems could save lots of water. Technology such as desalination could increase the water supply massively when it is eventually made cost effective.
Everyday People - Every little bit counts. Turn off the faucet if it's not being used. Fix leaks around the house. Take shorter showers. Use water saving shower heads and toilets. It may not seem like much, but it all adds up.
Krchnak, K. (n.d.). Water Scarcity. Retrieved April 3, 2017, from https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/water-scarcity
Rinkesh. (2016, December 24). Causes, Effects and Solutions of Water Scarcity. Retrieved April 3, 2017, from http://www.conserve-energy-future.com/causes-effects-solutions-of-water-scarcity.php
Zweynert, A. (2016, March 23). How Global Water Shortages Threaten Jobs and Growth. Retrieved April 3, 2017, from http://www.climatecentral.org/news/global-water-shortages-jobs-growth-20164
Earth Eclipse. (2016, June 13). Causes, Effects and Solutions to Water Scarcity. Retrieved April 3, 2017, from http://www.eartheclipse.com/environment/causes-effects-and-solutions-to-water-scarcity.html
Eartheasy. (n.d.). 25 ways to conserve water in the home and yard. Retrieved April 10, 2017, from http://eartheasy.com/live_water_saving.htm