“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?