Climate change is highly likely to increase the water demand while decreasing the water supply. This shifting balance would challenge water managers to simultaneously meet the needs of growing communities, sensitive ecosystems, farmers, ranchers, energy producers, and manufacturers.
Due to water scarcity, the production of food is impacted while the population increases. Without water, people have no other options to water their crops, therefore not producing enough food for the growing population.
Today, 1.2 billion people or almost one-fifth of the world suffers from lack of physical water , while another 1.6 billion lives in a economic water crisis. This situation is expected to worsen as the global warming increases and the population continues to increase. In 2025, the world is estimated that 1.8 billion will fully live in a water scarcity environment, with almost half of the world living under the stress of water.
An Increase in Tension
As the struggle to find accessible water increases, the tension among different seekers begin to build. 260 river basins are shared between two or more countries. The changes within the basin could lead to serious boundary discussions
Conflcits over water arise fRom rhe fact that under coNditions of increasing SCARCITY, competiton level also increases - Anthony TurtOn
As demand for water hits the limits of finite supply, potential conflicts are brewing between nations that share transboundary freshwater reserves. More than 50 countries on five continents might soon be caught up in water disputes unless they move quickly to establish agreements on how to share reservoirs, rivers, and underground water acquifers. The articles and analysis below examine international water disputes, civil disturbances caused by water shortages, and potential regulatory solutions to diffuse water conflict.
Lack of clean water can rob children of health and education
HEALTH + Education
The lack of eductaion early in life often consigns children to poverty or dependeNce later in life
Lack of clean water in households causes millions of children in the developing world to suffer needlessly from disease, UNICEF said today, adding that millions of girls are deterred from getting an education because of a dearth of sanitation facilities in schools.
Millions of children suffer intestinal infections caused by parasites. Each year 19.5 million people are infected with roundworm and whipworm alone, with the highest rate of infection among school-age children. Also, each year, an estimated 118.9 million children under 15 suffer from schistosomiasis (bilharzia), a disease caused by parasitic flatworms. Parasites consume nutrients, aggravate malnutrition, retard children's physical development and result in poor school attendance and performance.
South Africa is a country located at the Southern Tip of Africa. About twice the size of Texas it is home to 49 million people. This country has been stricken by affects from the long standing apartheid to the devastation that diseases such as HIV/AIDS and TB have caused. Now another crisis looms in the distance: Water. As more and more people migrate into cities from rural villages the pressure for the city to meet the water demands is ever increasing. The 30th driest country in the world
Rains that usually come and supply the country with water comes infrequently, while the country's temperature is replaced to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
Poor Management and Sanitation
Nearly 50 percent of South Africa's tap water is being stolen, wasted or simply leaking away every year. The record-keeping and water-metering is so poor that some municipalities don’t even know how much water they are using, according to a new report commissioned by the Water Research Commission. This term includes water that leaks out of broken pipes and also water that is not paid for (but excludes the government’s free basic water allowance).
One report stated that in 2008 about 5 million people lack access to water and 15 million lack access to basic sanitation. This number has improved greatly since the end of apartheid in 1994, however these numbers are still too high and not one person should ever lack access to the most basic necessity of life, which is water.
Disease due to lack of Sanitation
Interestingly enough South Africa has one of the most clean water systems in the world, however due to the lack of sanitation and access in the country's rural communities the threat of water borne disease is steadily increasing. The Vaal River, the largest river in South Africa and popular tourist destination is becoming increasingly contaminated with fecal material due to the lack of sanitation supplies.