Water Crisis Around The World

Water Crisis Around The World

17 countries are currently living under extreme high-water stress, competing over water resources. It makes up about a quarter of the world population. This staggering number is the latest warning from the World Resources Institute (WRI), this could lead to more “day zeroes” like Cape Town in 2018 came close to be running out of water.

Israel, Lebanon and Qatar are currently ranking at the top of the list for the most water stressed countries in the world, with Badghis in Afghanistan and Gaborone and Jwaneng in Botswana the world’s most water-stressed regions.

The WRI stated the data reveals a global water crisis that will requires better information, planning and water management.

“Water matters,” said Betsy Otto, global director for water at WRI. “We’re currently facing a global water crisis. Our populations and economies are growing and demanding more water. But our supply is threatened by climate change, water waste and pollution.”

The global research organization compared the water available to the amount withdrawn for homes, industries, irrigation and livestock.

Within the 17 countries at high risk, agriculture, industry, and municipalities were found to be using up to 80% of available surface and groundwater in an average year.

Twelve of the 17 high-risk countries were in the Middle East and North Africa.

The level of water stress in India, a country of more than 1.3 billion people, was striking, experts noted. India ranked 13th in the report

“The recent water crisis in Chennai gained global attention, but various areas in India are experiencing chronic water stress as well,” said Shashi Shekhar, former secretary of India’s ministry of water resources, and senior WRI fellow.

Around the world, stress on water supplies can exacerbate conflict and migration, threaten food supplies and pose risks for water-dependent industries, including mining and manufacturing, WRI notes.

“The picture is alarming in many places around the globe, but it’s very important to note that water stress is not destiny. What we can’t afford to do any longer is pretend that the situation will resolve itself,” said Otto.

“With respect to climate change we know that in many places what we’re going to be seeing is more erratic, more unpredictable hydrology, precipitation. Either too much or too little, often in the same places.”

What can we do about it? Countries needs to focus on water, sewage and water recycling.  Even though spending doesn’t match the returns we need to learn to managed better the water supply