Network for the Environment and Social (Human) Security

Water Shortage

Posted by on Mar 29, 2010 in Water | 5 comments

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According to the BBC , 24. March 2010, the south-west of China faces a severe water shortage.

Tenth of million of people are affected.

Some blame the Climate Change for it. Even if the Climate Change has only a small part to the problem, it is safe to assume that with time the part will become bigger and more wide spread.

Another problem is the growing world population. In the middle of this century world population will reach 9 billion people. This is an increase of 30% to the number of today, the year 2010.

While the amount of drinking water remains stable. One might think, that as a result of the Climate Change, melting of the glaciers, the situation will change for the better. This might be a dangerous illusion.

According to Wikipedia about 884 million people are already inadequately supplied with water.

The problem of water might just become more severe as a result of the Climate Change. Even in areas with an abundance of water today.  The problem will affect billions of people!

In the same page (last external link) of Wikipedia it is stated that the desalination of sea water is currently very expensive. This is not really true if Solar Energy is used, not for Photovoltaic but as Thermal Solar Energy.

Point 12 of the TOTEM System shows how drinking water can be produced as a byproduct of an energy facility.

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  1. Mike

    Consider: More than a dozen nations receive most of their water from rivers that cross borders of neighboring countries viewed as hostile. These include Botswana, Bulgaria, Cambodia, the Congo, Gambia, the Sudan, Israel, and Syria, all of whom receive 75 percent or more of their fresh water from the river flow of often hostile upstream neighbors.

    In the Middle East, a region marked by hostility between nations, obtaining adequate water supplies is a high political priority. For example, water has been a contentious issue in recent negotiations between Israel and Syria. In recent years, Iraq, Syria and Turkey have exchanged verbal threats over their use of shared rivers. (It should come as no surprise to learn that the words “river” and “rival” share the same Latin root; a rival is “someone who shares the same stream.”)

    Global water problems are attracting increasing attention, not just at the international level, but also within the United States, in its popular press, in natural resource journals and as the subject of books.

  2. Dr. Ali Al-Ahmedy

    Early snowmelt is not a new problem the West, but its causes are becoming increasingly well known to scientists who have studied the phenomenon. Dust storms, one of the main contributors to the problem, are a key culprit, and they promise to grow worse as grazing, mining and increased recreational use remove vegetative cover and to expose loose soils to wind.

    It is all part of a cycle, researchers say, in which the warming climate at lower elevations creates conditions that exacerbate pollution problems in the snow-topped mountain peaks, reducing the the snow’s reflective capacity and soaking up more heat.

  3. Benjamin Kilnee

    Climate change will shrink the resources of freshwater. Water scarcity is expected to become an even more important problem than it is today.

  4. Adrian Brook

    Water seems to be a superabundant natural resource on the planet earth. However, only 0.3 per cent of the world’s total amount of water can be used as clean drinking water. Man requires huge amounts of drinking water every day and extracts it from nature for innumerable purposes.

    As natural fresh water resources are limited, sea water plays an important part as a source for drinking water as well. In order to use this water, it has to be desalinated. So, sea water desalination is a real challenge for western civilisation.

  5. Casandra Cage

    Nice Article, but let me add few lines, when most U.S. citizens think about water shortages if they think about them at all they think about a local problem, possibly in their town or city, maybe their state or region.

    We don’t usually regard such problems as particularly worrisome, sharing confidence that the situation will be readily handled by investment in infrastructure, conservation, or other management strategies. Whatever water feuds arise, e.g., between Arizona and California, we expect to be resolved through negotiations or in the courtroom.

    But shift from a local to a global water perspective, and the terms dramatically change. The World Bank reports that 80 countries now have water shortages that threaten health and economies while 40 percent of the world more than 2 billion people have no access to clean water or sanitation. In this context, we cannot expect water conflicts to always be amenably resolved.

    A prime cause of the global water concern is the ever-increasing world population. As populations grow, industrial, agricultural and individual water demands escalate. According to the World Bank, world-wide demand for water is doubling every 21 years, more in some regions. Water supply cannot remotely keep pace with demand, as populations soar and cities explode.

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