Water crisis . The water also called “blue gold” is beyond a simple molecule. It is the origin of all forms of life, it is a habitat, food, means of production, transportation and a basic necessity. Perhaps, many wonder why so much worry and hubbub, if there are ample availability of water in the world.
But this is not so, the harsh reality is another and this substance constitutes the most important chemical component for the development of life on the planet, it represents more than half the weight of any living being, so its consumption is vital for all living things plants and animals including man. The imminent lack of this precious liquid suggests that in a short time, drinking water will become the abyss that will separate developed countries from those that have not reached that category.
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- 1 A concern
- 2 Severity of the crisis
- 3 The root of the problem
- 4 Availability of water
- 5 challenges
- 6 Statistical data on the severity of the problem
- 7 Sources
The history of humanity has shown that when strategic resources are scarce and different groups compete for its use, war conflicts inevitably arise. Today it is thought that the wars of the future, more than for oil, will be for the precious liquid. Well, it is calculated that in 2050 the planet will have a population of 7 billion (other calculations indicate more than 9 billion) of inhabitants who will inevitably suffer from water limitations.
Already in about 25 years, the restriction will have increased by 50% in poor countries and 18% in developed ones. At the moment, the distribution of water among people is no longer equitable, the worst part is for the least resource sectors, including third world countries. An interesting fact in this regard is that children born in developed countries consume between 30 and 40 times more water than those born in developing countries.
Severity of the crisis
Essential water for life
The root of the water crisis lies in its concept of it: a common good or a resource. And the fact is that the water crisis stems from inequality, poverty and power, as the 2006 Human Development Report of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) points out. Coupled with other problems such as availability of the resource, environmental contamination.
There are certain indicators that allow us to understand the severity of this world crisis. Every day, diarrheal diseases (closely linked to water quality and accessibility) kill 6,000 people, most of whom are children under the age of five.
In international conferences, the topic is addressed, in which the inertia of the leaders and the lack of full awareness of the magnitude of the problem in general are raised, with the manifest danger that the necessary corrective measures have not already been adopted with a view to reducing its catastrophic incidents for ecology and world population.
Lack of control over pollutants discharged into the waters is another neglected aspect. And precisely developed countries are the highest incidence for being more industrialized, not having reached a culture and awareness of the problem and the cost of purifying these wastes.
By the middle of this century, it is estimated that the planet will have lost 18,000 km3 of fresh water, an amount nine times greater than that used each year for irrigation, which in turn represents 70% of water withdrawals.
It is estimated that by 2050 some 7 billion inhabitants (although other calculations indicate more than 9 billion) will suffer from water limitations. And in approximately 25 years, the restriction will have already increased by 50% in poor countries and 18% in developed ones. Currently, the distribution of this precious liquid among people is not equitable and the worst part is for the sectors with the least resources.
The root of the problem
It is not necessary to look outside of each person because each individual can do a lot, the planet and the survival of the human species itself is at stake. The states must unite and become aware of the need, salvation is in the hands of man, you cannot blame mother nature, it is a fact, the survival of the human species is at stake.
Some of the causes are: Awareness of the crisis, excessive and inappropriate use, pollution, global warming , increased desertification .
Only 2.53% is fresh water
Only 2.53% of the total water on the planet is sweet and the rest is salty. Approximately two thirds of the fresh water are immobilized in glaciers and sheltered from perpetual snow.
On the other hand, freshwater resources are reduced by pollution. Some two million tons of waste is dumped daily into receiving waters, including industrial and chemical waste, human waste, and agricultural waste (fertilizers, pesticides, and pesticide residues).
The poorest populations turn out to be the most affected, 50% of the population of developing countries is exposed to contaminated water sources. Coupled with this, the latest estimates suggest that climate change will be responsible for around 20% of the increase in global water scarcity.
Drought one of the serious problems
- Satisfy basic human needs.
- Protect ecosystems, where water is an essential part.
And there is no doubt that inland aquatic ecosystems present serious problems. The flow of around 60% of the world’s largest rivers has been interrupted by some hydraulic structure.
- The divergent needs of the urban environment.
According to estimates, 48% of the current world population lives in towns and cities. In 2030 the proportion will increase to 60%. Urban agglomerations concentrate waste, and when waste management is precarious or non-existent, cities become the most dangerous environments in the world. Hence, the adoption of certain measures to improve water supply, sanitation and flood control in cities is imperative. For example, the existence of good health services is essential, whether they are public, semi-private or private companies, subject to adequate regulations.
- Secure the food supply for a growing world population.
Controlled and sustainable agriculture is needed to feed the ever-growing population with the available water resources.
Although most agriculture depends on rain, efficient use of irrigation water is key, currently situated at around 38% worldwide. This should improve until reaching an average of 42% in 2030, thanks to technology and better irrigation water management.
- Promote a cleaner industry.
The use of water in manufacturing processes, often in large quantities, is very common. Then it is returned to local systems. This discharged water can be of very poor quality and, unless properly treated, posing a threat to the surface and groundwater into which it is discharged.
- Use energy to meet development needs.
It is that water is essential for energy production. Its two main applications are the production of electricity of hydraulic origin and its use for cooling purposes in thermal power plants. All in all, electricity contributes to poverty reduction in many ways. It is essential for the subsistence of small businesses and for improving medical services, including generators and the refrigeration of vaccines and medicines, among other functions.
- Reducing risks and dealing with uncertainty is the seventh challenge.
Be aware, for this you have to think about:
- The number of victims of various natural disasters, since it increased from 147 million to 211 million per year between 1991 and 2000.
- Economic losses from natural disasters have increased from $ 30 billion to $ 70 billion in the United States between 1990 and 1999. Likewise, about 97% of deaths caused by natural disasters have occurred in developing countries.
In the case of floods, the potential risk is related to its magnitude and frequency. It is possible to calculate the probability of its occurrence and forecast floods in real time.
Statistical data on the severity of the problem
- During the 20th century the world population tripled, while the demand for water increased sixfold.
- A sixth of the world population does not have access to drinking water, while a third of the world population is not connected to any sewage treatment system
- Every day a billion people wake up without access to water suitable for consumption or without the resources to clean it.
- Every year 7 million people die as a result of diseases transmitted by water.
- During the last century, the irrigated area has increased fivefold, with 70-80% of the water used in the world being used for agriculture.
- 70% of wastewater from developing countries is discharged into watercourses without any prior treatment.
- During the 20th century, 50% of the world’s swamps disappeared.
- A third of the collecting basins have lost up to 75% of their forest reserves.
- There are currently more than 47,000 large dams in the world.
- A country is considered water deficient when the average of local resources is less than 1000 m3 per person / year.
- In the United States the accumulation of water per person reaches 6,000 m3, and in the poorest areas of Africa it is only 11 m3.
- In the last 25 years of the 20th century, the world’s annual per capita water availability has decreased by approximately a third.
- A quarter of the world’s population still lacks a safe water source.
- Global water quality continues to decline and organic micro-pollutants continue to degrade ecosystems and habitats.