It’s been quite a few years since the spectre of water scarcity began giving exhibitions of its existence; the worst part is that it has only grown clearer in form and monstrous in proportions. The water crisis debate is no longer limited to the conference rooms of UN and environment care bodies of the globe; the risks are real and are already costing humanity with several lives and depleting life standards in several countries. How big is the crisis? Are there any real numbers to worry over? Is there a solution, or is the future doomed without repair? Let’s try to answer some of these momentous questions.
Understanding and acknowledging the water crisis
Surprisingly, the simplest demand-supply comparison tool is enough to explain the reality of the nefarious water crisis.
- The rates of water withdrawal from groundwater aquifers and water sources are massive as compared to the rate of its replenishment.
- Of the entire water pool available on earth, just 1% is effectively left for humans; the remaining is either locked up in ice form or reserved for marine life.
- Desalination of sea water involves hefty utilization of equipment that consumes massive fossil fuel based energy, which hardly justifies the energy and cost viability of the effort.
- On the demand side, the ever increasing population of the earth is easily outrunning the success of water recycling.
- Machines, supply chains, processes – all are blatantly exploiting water resources with no impetus on alternative technologies
- Laws that harmonize household and industrial use of water with the serious crisis are in their infancy and finding hard to find their feet.
Is there a way to meet and defeat the crisis?
At the end of the seemingly dreary discussion, it’s important to lay out the salvage plan that’s humanity’s best bet towards a future that continues to be blessed with the presence of water.
- Right from overhauling the consumption behaviors of the masses, beginning from countries like US and China and percolating down to the third world, and redefining the prominence and value of water in the supply chains of the world’s most prominent corporations such as GE, Wal-Mart, automotive giants ranging from Ford to Honda, and also encompassing government setups.
- Water conservation techniques will need to be catalyzed into existence with tools such as subsidies, laws and incentives.
- The research laboratories trying to scientifically devise powerful methods to mitigate the crisis depend on heavy funding, and sources of these findings will need to grow in size as well as number.
- Recycling and agricultural practices will need to be targeted for massive overhauls to offset the demand-supply gap to an appreciable degree.
The crisis will need to be a thought troubling everybody’s mind, for the sum total of all resurrection activities to yield a solution to the impending crisis that could otherwise leave the world dead, decayed and dry.