The global water crisis and its effects on society
Imagine a world in which one-third of the population faces severe water shortages. As unbelievable as it may sound, that shocking statistic may turn into reality by 2025. In fact, over 1.2 billion people currently do not have access to clean drinking water – that’s equivalent to nearly 17% of the world population. As the world population increases by 80 million annually, water shortages also threaten to reduce the global food supply. In addition to population growth, industrialization and urbanization are other factors that play prominent roles in increasing the worldwide demand for water.
Also known as the global water crisis, this natural phenomenon ultimately has the potential to take a profound toll on communities all around the world and will eventually have serious consequences on the environment. Although access to safe water is a basic human right, millions of people are denied of this right every day. It is paramount that our community becomes more involved in this prominent worldwide issue, as it is one of the biggest challenges our world faces and is often overlooked.
How does the global water crisis affect us?
Water is a vital element for all life forms, ranging from humans to bacteria. In fact, inadequate consumption of water can essentially result in death. Livestock cannot be grown and land cannot be cultivated in a civilization devoid of water. In other words, food would not be available without water, a crucial element. According to an article written by Stefan Anitei, the United States' consumption of water is over 350 liters per day, which is nearly as much as the amount necessary to fill 2.5 bath tubs. Taking this statistic into consideration, many people view Americans as wasteful, especially when the hardships people in third-world countries face are taken into thought. Water is always available at the simple turning of a sink faucet in developed countries. On the other hand, various people in third-world countries do not have this privilege, which we, Americans, often take for granted. It is not anomalous for a person in Africa to be in a situation in which the closest water source is a River kilometer away; it can take up to four hours to retrieve the water and return with it.
What can be done to mitigate the issue?
In order to deter the exacerbation of the global water crisis, a myriad of correcting measures can be taken our community, including spreading awareness of this prominent issue. In addition, it is crucial to make efforts to conserve water resources, whether they are to be used for agriculture, industrial, or domestic use. Water is wasted almost everywhere, due to the fallacious notion that access to it is natural and always available. However, by improving personal and industrial water management, resources can be preserved, ultimately reducing the overall water consumption.
Reusable water bottles are a beneficial alternative to plastic water bottles – Americans consume about 1,500 water bottles per second, but our tap water systems are regulated for drinking purposes, so reusable bottles can always be refilled for on-the-go refreshment. Water filters can also be installed in our sinks in order to ensure that sink water is purified and healthy to drink. Another relatively simple step that can be taken to mitigate the water crisis is turning off the faucets of a bathroom sink while one is in the midst of brushing your teeth; it is not necessary for water to be wasted by running aimlessly. The uncomplicated effort to reducing the amount of time it takes to shower by just a few minutes can also allay the water crisis. If enough people are willing to contribute to this significant cause by taking these simple steps, the detrimental impacts of the global water crisis can ultimately be diverted.