This blog will give an overview about water security, how the situation is for the poor, and water pollution. With the current level of modern technology, knowledge, and information which is spreading every day, we would think it will not be a problem.
The world’s population is estimated to grow to 9 billion people by 2050. For this reason, it is vital that there is enough clean and safe water for the world’s consumption. Water security is the ability to access sufficient quantities of clean drinking water to maintain adequate standards of food production, proper sanitation, and sustainable health care.
The majority of water in the world is used for agriculture and irrigation systems. Worldwide, the demand for water for agriculture is increasing. It is estimated that it will continue to increase as much as 70% over the next few years.
The World Bank and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) are in collaboration to improve agricultural water productivity. This is especially in irrigated areas, where water supply is becoming less and less reliable (World Bank, 2014).
Regions that are already under pressure from lack of water are Egypt, South Asia, Australia and the US. In countries like Morocco one of the major issues is that the demand for water is increasing while the availability of water is decreasing to crisis levels. Worldwide humans are exploiting the groundwater. There is a big problem with water being polluted.
Water sources, like lakes and rivers such as the Nile, are not only gathering points for agriculture but also centers for people. In modern times the Nile water use has increased and the agriculture has expanded. This has led to human and environmental consequences and hydro-political arguments between riparian countries.
Water resources are becoming more and more scarce. Considering 70% of water is being used for agriculture and irrigation, it is important for humans to have access to clean and safe drinking water. However, in many developing countries that is a problem.
Water pollution is a major problem in several countries, especially in the developing world, due to extraction of raw materials by big corporations. We see in Ghana, where gold mining is in production, that large supplies of drinking water are left contaminated. The water is unsafe for drinking and people have been warned against even bathing in it.
It is estimated that about 900 million people worldwide do not have access to clean drinking water and 2.6 billion people do not have access to basic sanitation. Related to this, 1.5 million children die every year due to water and sanitation-related diseases, such as diarrhea, cholera and dysentery.
The lack of access to safe drinking, bathing and cooking water provides a major health and environmental challenge. Wastewater contaminates freshwater and coastal water ecosystems. Without better waste management from industrial factories, many millions of people will continue to die every year and biodiverse ecosystems will fall to pieces.
A healthier future is essential and possible. There needs to be more focus on sustainable waste management from industries and from the governments worldwide, as wells as smart investment solutions.
When I was in Belize, I learned that the villages had public water that was safe for drinking. People pay 7BZ dollars every month to access water. Several people also use the river for laundry and bathing. What I experienced there is that people do not believe that there is water scarcity or that they need to be careful about the water that they use.
In the village that I worked in there is no system for water harvesting in preparation for the dry season. When I gave information to the youth and women in the village about the global water shortage and saving water, it was not in their interest to be concerned with this.
I believe there should be more information about the environment, how important water is, and the water shortage in the world from a young age. A water secure world reduces poverty, advances education, and improves living standards. It is a world where there is an improved quality of life for all. It is especially the most vulnerable, like women and children, who benefit most from good water governance.