Whether a trigger, weapon, or a casualty, water has played a major role in conflicts around the world. With climate change altering rainfall patterns and causing extended droughts all over the globe, disputes over water appear to remain a challenge for some regions. On the other hand, history has also witnessed water being the source of cooperation between nations.
Moving to a more sustainable long-term model for managing water supplies is essential if we are to avert a future water crisis. However, many countries still lack access to even basic clean water. The World Bank estimates that the poorest countries need to spend around $150 billion a year just to deliver safe and clean water for all.
In this climate, is it realistic to expect countries to achieve water sustainability? Where do we stand regarding water sustainability at the moment and what can be done to improve the situation in the future?
Water is essential to life on this planet. Yet there are signs that freshwater supplies are becoming more and more scarce. According to the UN, around 2 billion people – over 25% of the global population – already live in countries experiencing high water stress and it’s predicted that around 700 million people could be displaced by extreme water scarcity by 2030. One of the key challenges is climate change, which is disrupting the global water cycle and affecting water supplies in a number of ways.
With water making up around 70% of the earth’s surface, you might not think that water shortage would be a problem affecting us anytime soon. However, a worrying report from the World resources Institute (WRI) released last year revealed that around one-quarter of the global population face living in conditions of extremely high water stress.
To build a water efficient society, we need to change the way we use and manage water. This is especially the case for businesses, as around 88% of the global water supply is used for commercial purposes. Companies looking to implement a sustainable water strategy should not underestimate the strength of getting their communications right, to ensure that their message reaches the necessary people in the right way. Engaging and informing stakeholders about the strategy and efforts on water management can strengthen the measures and enforce the saving potential.
Thinking of the future, one of the things that come to mind is the expected population growth in the coming years. Availability of water resources in particular, is one of the most serious crises with remarkable implications for many other related world challenges: Poverty, hunger, ecosystem degradation, desertification, climate change, and even world peace and security.
About 71% of our world is covered with water, most of which is saline (97%) or frozen in ice sheets & glaciers (2%), only the remaining 1% being fresh water.
How is it possible that in a water-rich planet, humanity is struggling with water crisis? Water accessibility and availability are major drivers of the water crisis.
With the weather warming up as we hit the spring season, it’s a good time to think about effective seasonal preparations to cope with the hotter seasons. Droughts are becoming more of an issue and not just in the hottest countries that traditionally experience them.