Over 2.7 billion people suffer from at least 1 month of water scarcity in a year.
These facts can be difficult to understand, especially since only 3% of the water in the global, which accounts for over 70% of the earth’s surface, is freshwater deemed fit for human consumption.
However, when we factor in the fact that 2/3 of the freshwater in the world is locked up in frozen glaciers, we can understand how much of a problem water scarcity is. Perspectively, while over a billion people spend days searching for clean and safe drinking water, some of us with access to plenty of water often take it for granted.
Major factors of water scarcity include pollution and overuse of water, conflicts, travel distance to water sources, drought, and governmental control. With water, scarcity comes to hunger, diseases, and other health complications, poor sanitation, lack of education, and, ultimately, poverty.
The good news is that the problem of water scarcity can be solved, but it requires a collective effort with every one of us playing our part to solve this global crisis. Here are some proposed solutions to the water scarcity crisis.
Pollution and Contamination Control
Pollution is a major contributor to water scarcity in the world today. Water pollution, which is the dumping of harmful substances into clean water systems, is playing a major part in reducing the amount of water available for consumption.
Pollution also plays a major role in global warming, which is one of the major threats to our planet today. Global warming indeed leads to the melting of our frozen freshwater. Still, this water seeps into the ocean and causes the ocean levels to rise, leading to floods and other disasters, which in turn reduce the amount of water in shortage.
Water infrastructure is a crucial element of water management and control. It includes all the infrastructure used to build, pump, transport, divert, store, treat, and deliver safe drinking water, as well as the tools and equipment used to build them. These structures include groundwater wells, dams, storage tanks, surface-water intakes, pipes, drinking-water facilities, and aqueducts. With poor water infrastructure inevitably comes water scarcity. This is why we need to improve the quality of our water infrastructure, be it natural or artificial. Infrastructure also encompasses natural infrastructure, which makes use of landscape management techniques such as conservation, restoration, and sustainable management. These techniques provide essential water services such as flood control, aquifer storage and recharge, and providing a clean and abundant supply of water. Improved infrastructure will not only reduce the amount of clean water being wasted but will also help reduce the number of persons always searching for clean water daily
Aquifer Storage and Recovery
Aquifer recovery and storage is another water scarcity solution. Here, the recharge is done via surface infiltration into unconfined, shallow aquifers. In recent years, this process has evolved to accommodate direct injection into deeper aquifer systems, including those containing low-quality groundwater, making freshwater storage available in areas where none formerly existed. A major constraint to recharging by injection and infiltration is the clogging of pores from particulates, chemical precipitation, and biofilm formation. This can have adverse effects on the quality of groundwater, such as the formation of dissolved sulfides and iron solubilization (EPA, 2017). That notwithstanding, if done and appropriately controlled, these two methods can significantly reduce the level of water scarcity in some areas stricken by this phenomenon.
Water Credit / Water Equity
Mostly practiced in developing countries, this method of credit entails the provision of loans to households and small enterprises to increase access to a safe and improved water source as well as sanitation. Governments and other public-sector organizations finance most water credit investments, but since their current investment levels aren’t enough to reach everyone, private organizations and Micro Credit institutions have come in to complement the effort. Microcredits usually target the poor and less fortunate and help them to gain access to clean and improved water sources, safe water, and sanitation.
In the water sector, three major types of water credit schemes exist. These are water credit schemes aimed at improving household access to water supply, schemes aimed at improving water access to small and medium-sized enterprises, and schemes aimed at upgrading water services in urban and shared facilities. Regardless, water credit seeks to help improve access to clean and safe water and to reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity by financing household water and connections, toilets, latrines, bathrooms, pit latrines, water purifiers, rainwater harvesting tanks, and other systems (Water.org).
Another very important and simple solution to the problem of water scarcity is to increase awareness and education on water scarcity and its effects. There are a lot of people who are unaware of the reality of water scarcity, as well as its harmful effects and the number of people suffering from it. We must educate people on how to conserve water, how to support water organizations and NGOs, and on the importance of water. Raising awareness and educating people on the reality of water scarcity, its effects, and the importance of conserving water is an essential step in the fight against water scarcity.
Sourced from : World Water Reserve