Water scarcity is not uncommon even in countries with ample water resources. Although this could be due to a variety of issues such as crumbling infrastructure and distribution systems, contamination, conflict, or inadequate water resource management, it is obvious that climate change, as well as human factors, are denying children their right to safe water and sanitation.
Approximately 1.1 billion people in the globe do not have access to clean water, and a total of 2.7 billion people face water scarcity for at least one month of the year. For 2.4 billion people, poor sanitation is an issue, exposing them to diseases like cholera and typhoid fever, as well as other water-borne disorders. Each year, two million people, largely children, die from diarrheal illnesses.
Water scarcity restricts access to safe drinking water as well as fundamental hygienic practises at home, in schools, and in health-care facilities. When water is short, sewage systems might collapse, increasing the risk of diseases such as cholera. Water becomes more expensive as it grows scarce. Many of the water systems that keep ecosystems alive and sustain an ever-increasing human population are under strain. Rivers, lakes, and aquifers are drying out or polluted to the point of being unusable. Over half of the world’s wetlands have vanished. Agriculture uses the most water of any source, and most of it is wasted due to inefficiencies. Climate change is changing weather and water patterns all throughout the world, resulting in water shortages and droughts in some areas and floods in others.
In certain regions, even forecasting has failed to predict the severity of water scarcity. Due to chronic water scarcity and mismanagement, as well as an unanticipated drought, the South African city of Cape Town announced in early 2018 that it will have to introduce emergency water restriction within months. The city decreased water pressure and even turned off water to customers in an effort to cut water consumption. Cape Town will stay in a state of emergency until the water problems are resolved. Meanwhile, the crisis has spread throughout South Africa, affecting every aspect of life and the economy.
Some Horrible Forecastings
“By 2025, global freshwater stress owing to increasing population on water use will increase significantly, especially in northern Africa, Eurasia, the Middle East, and even the United States, and by 2050, nearly 5 billion people will be affected by freshwater scarcity,” according to the United Nations. Surprisingly, even individuals in charge of water management are sometimes uninformed of the full worldwide scope of a water crisis that has evolved and is deepening. According to the United Nations, “water scarcity affects more than 40% of the world’s population and is expected to worsen.” Many standing freshwater sources, such as reservoirs, lakes, and underground aquifers, are expected to be depleted in an unsustainable manner, according to projections. Aquifers might take up to 19,000 years to recharge in some circumstances. The rates of usage and re-charge for standing sources of water are often unsustainable. For example, by 2045, the Ogallala Aquifer, North America’s largest supply of freshwater, will have reduced the Arikaree, a 70-mile-long river in Colorado, to approximately a half-mile.
Way Out From The Crisis
Organizations such as UNICEF, on the other hand, operate on a multi-level to provide context-specific solutions that improve access to safe water and mitigate the effects of water scarcity. They majorly advocate for the following issues :
Identifying new water resources: use a variety of technologies to assess the availability of water resources, including remote sensing, geophysical surveys, and field investigations.
Expanding technologies to ensure climate resilience: rebuild urban water distribution networks and treatment systems to prevent water leakage and contamination, and promote wastewater reuse for farmers to protect groundwater.
Planning national water needs : Collaborate with key stakeholders at the national and subnational levels to better understand the water needs for residential consumption, as well as health and sanitation.
Planning for urban scarcity : To lessen the risk of communities running out of water, plan for future water needs by identifying accessible resources.
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