Water has always been a global issue. The Middle East experiences water shortages regularly, Singapore has to buy its fresh water from Malaysia buying its fresh water from Malaysia, and the USA, Canada, and Mexico also have serious issues concerning water.
70% of the earth’s surface is covered in water. Only 0.5% of that water is fresh water. It is found underground, in rivers, in lakes, and in the ice caps of the North and South Poles. Only 60% of fresh water is accessible. As industrial development increases and the world population continues to grow, humans have been overusing water and are still ignoring the notion of sustainable development. There are also other issues at hand, including pollution, salinization of underground water, and the greenhouse effect, that gradually decreases our fresh water reserves. Old dams are used to excess and damage the world’s water systems. Underground water has to be pumped and used instead of the water collected from dams. Humans are pumping water at an exponential rate, and with salinization, and agricultural and industrial pollution, underground water will be exhausted in roughly 20 years.
Water is an indispensable resource and will dry out due to its abuse and pollution. News from around the world shows that water is deteriorating and we are already feeling the effects of water shortages. In a document called “Ten Threats Affecting the Stability of the World” published by The World Economic Forum in 2015, water crises rank 8th in the most urgent global crises that needs to be resolved.
40% of the world’s population relies on 214 rivers. With an increase of water demands, fresh water being wasted and polluted, the struggle for water is inevitable. Countries lacking water will fight for the the commodity. Relationships between countries will become more strained as they look to find clean water that can be used for drinking, irrigation, and power generation.
The problem is that the rate of water consumption is much faster than the rate of water regeneration. If humans continue to extract water in this manner, we will have 60% of the water we have now by the year 2030, meaning a minority of people will be able to have access to water.