What Is Your Defination Of Water Shortage?

“What is your take on the global water shortage?” Many believed that people are not aware of the issue, or they think such a scenario wouldn’t affect them. After pondering on this question for a few minutes, I realized, this question will be on every mainstream media in the next 15 to 20 years.

In many lower-income countries where water access is a big problem, people are familiar with the idea of global water shortages. In Pakistan, it feels like the general public is more aware of global water shortages existing primarily in other countries and especially about the water shortage conditions surrounding them. There can be a shortage of water in a household, or in a community or at a larger level like in shape of drought. 

Let us first define global water shortage. If we ask any common man in Pakistan, water shortage is a lack of excess of safe potable water. There are 800,00 people globally who do not have access to water. Some people don’t have water because they can’t afford systems to convey and treat water or they live in locations where water is physically scarce. Some believe and it is a fact that globally water shortage is due to the effects of climate change, population growth, population growth, urban sprawl, human migration, pollution, lack of resources, competition, corruption and bad goverance. 

Climate change could result in longer periods of drought or intense flood events and people will experience water supply variability. Population growth and human migration, pollution from factories and homes, and competition among water users will further limit available water resources.

There are two areas of concern when thinking about a global water shortage from a North American perspective:

1) ensuring all people have equitable access to water supplies globally, and

2) ensuring that we  are learning conservation methods and preparing for times of water scarcity.

But when we turn on the tap, we don’t understand how using less water will help our community or how learning water conservation techniques could help our community. This might arise from a lack of understanding about local water policies, the energy used to treat water. 

People don’t realize how what they do is connected to the bigger picture. For example, using less water requires the municipality to treat less water which will use less energy which could mean less gas extracted for energy production. 

 What is your definition of a global water shortage?

Agriculture and Women

Gender is a socially constructed discourse in Pakistani society between men and women. It is expected that both parties are to perform certain duties to fit in the society. Culture and religion dominantly support men in each and every walk of life. The concept of gender is debated and under extreme evaluation all the time. 

Today as we see gender has become an organizing element of existing farming system. Current trends in gender in relation to agriculture is redefining the link between gender and development. 

In developing countries, a portion of women involvement in agricultural production and post-harvest activities ranges from 20 to 70 %. 

This has led to deteriorating health and work conditions, limited access to education and control over natural resources, insecure employment and low income. This is due to many factors like growing competition on agricultural markets which increases the demand for flexible and cheap labor, growing pressure on and conflicts over natural resources, the diminishing support by governments for small-scale farms and the reallocation of economic resources in favor of large agro-enterprises. Other factors include increasing exposure to risks related to natural disasters and environmental changes, worsening access to water, increasing occupational and health risks.

Women tend to be employed for labor-intensive tasks, generally earn lower wages than men and are more likely to be paid at piece rate. Also, rural women typically work longer hours than men, when one takes into account both paid productive and unpaid reproductive or domestic and care responsibilities. When these tasks are taken into account, women’s total work hours are longer than men’s in all regions Mostly women in Pakistan, work for their husband, leading to no payment for their work. Women manage the household, cattle, water and post-harvest work in fields, while men do the easy part like sowing seeds etc. 

A number of other changes will strengthen women’s contributions to agricultural production and sustainability. These include support for public services and investment in rural areas in order to improve women’s living and working conditions. It will give priority to technological development policies targeting rural and farm women’s needs and recognize their knowledge, skills, and experience in the production of food and the conservation of biodiversity. Furthermore, it will assess the negative effects and risks of farming practices and technology, including pesticides on women’s health, and take measures to reduce use and exposure. Finally, if we are to better recognize women as integral to sustainable development, it is critical to ensure gender balance in decision-making at all levels.