Water is a crucial resource across the world since it is required to sustain life on Earth. Currently, people argue that water is the most serious problem, but these people do not consider challenges that are associated with global warming and overpopulation. Water is not a finite resource and the world should understand management is an integral component in sustaining water requirements. Two-thirds of the world is covered with water but most of the water is salty or has other minerals that prevent its usage leaving only 2.5% of the amount of water that can be consumed (Booth & Charlesworth, 2014). Moreover, two-thirds of the 2.5% are locked in the glaciers and icecaps leaving only a small percentage that is accessible to humans. The aim of this paper is to discuss, the most severe threat we face today is a water shortage.
Irrigation is a major consumer of water, and it is estimated irrigation consume around 70% of water in developing agriculture and other activities that are associated with agriculture (Booth & Charlesworth, 2014). World Water Council estimate that the amount of water that will be used for irrigation in 2020 will rise by 17% (Diker & Spielvogel, 2012). Specifically, within the next ten years, millions of liters will be used for irrigation and currently water shortages have been reported in the developing countries including the Middle East countries. For example, third world countries, it is estimated that more than 30,000 children die because of water and water-related complexities that are associated with storage and transfer of water (Kinsella, Russett & Starr, 2012). Poor irrigation management has contributed to the decline in the amount of water that can be consumed. The irrigation farms usually have restrictive legislations that prevent harvesting of water, and this prevents communities within the water area unable to access the water (Li, Turner & Jiang, 2012). Such legislations are hindrance in the way water is used. For example, numerous restrictions are on River Nile in Africa where Egypt determines allocation of water based on colonial treaties and disadvantages some people in surrounding countries.
Infrastructure also contributes to water shortage because the use of technology has not associated with conservation and use of water (Booth & Charlesworth, 2014; Li, Turner & Jiang, 2012). Water is usually transported through pipes, hoses, and other such technological equipments, but the amount of water that reaches the consumer is not comparable with what was pumped; pipe joints that are not tightly sealed and broken pipes results in loss of tonnes of water through leakage (Diker & Spielvogel, 2012). The water should have played an important role in addressing the requirements of the consumers but the water is wasted resulting in water shortage (Kinsella, Russett & Starr, 2012).
Population determines amount of water consumed; the higher the population, the higher the amount of water that should be used (Booth & Charlesworth, 2014; Li, Turner & Jiang, 2012). Population use water for numerous purposes including drinking, washing and bathing. However, there are other activities that are seen as small but consume a lot of water such as flushing the toilet (Diker & Spielvogel, 2012). In the developing countries, rural-urban migration is high because of search of employment opportunities, and this pressures the use of water (Kinsella, Russett & Starr, 2012). The migration demands increase in the amount of water, and due to infrastructural requirements including construction, the water that is accessible is small compared to the demand (Li, Turner & Jiang, 2012). This results in practices that are unhealthy since the people, especially in slums areas, draws water that is not clean. It leads to health related complications that include diseases and disease results in hospital admission and increases the use of water to address the numerous complications (Diker & Spielvogel, 2012; Li, Turner & Jiang, 2012).
Apart from population, global warming as changed the water cycle (Booth & Charlesworth, 2014). The water cycle is dependent on precipitation based on forests and vegetation. Vegetation controls water evaporation from the ground while forests manage wind movement resulting in completing the requirements of the water cycle (Diker & Spielvogel, 2012; Li, Turner & Jiang, 2012). However, deforestation and climate changes have impaired water cycle, changing the rain calendar and predicting usage of water is not viable (Kinsella, Russett & Starr, 2012). Global warming has resulted in water causing destructions through Hurricanes and Tsunamis, and such process affects the management and supply of water due to destruction of infrastructure (Li, Turner & Jiang, 2012). Therefore, climate change has influenced the water cycle is managed and determines whether the amount of water available changes or remains constant (Booth & Charlesworth, 2014).
In conclusion, water shortage is a major problem in the world population. Water is an integral component in sustaining the requirements of the Earth, but numerous factors have contributed to inefficiency in water usage. Agriculture has played an important role in consumption of most of water the nature. In addition, the nature of the water in that most of the water is salty reduces the amount of water that can be used. Infrastructural factors also affect storage and supply of water because of simple leakages wastes a lot of water. Global warming has affected the water cycle reducing or making the rain pattern to be erratic. These factors have contributed to waste of water resulting in water becoming a major problem in the world population. Therefore, water management strategies should be integrated in the way water requirements are managed to avert water related problems.
- Booth, C., & Charlesworth, S. (2014). Water resources in the built environment: Management issues and solutions. London: Wiley Publishers.
- Diker, W., & Spielvogel, J. (2012). The essential world history. London: Cengage Learning.
- Kinsella, D., Russett, B., & Starr, H. (2012). World politics: The menu for choice. London: Cengage Learning.
- Li, X., Turner, G., & Jiang, L. (2012). Grow in concert with nature: Sustaining East Asia’s Water Resources Management through Green Water Defense. Chicago: World Bank Publications.