Experts recommend that people drink eight glasses of water a day, but many around the world struggle to find one.
Clean, fresh water is something that most of us take for granted. There are millions of people around the world that worry everyday whether they will have enough water or where they will go to find clean water to drink.
Some people wait in line for hours just to get a ration from state water trucks. Others are forced to pay high prices for something that is vital to survive.
Reservoirs around the world that supply water to residents are drying up due to high temperatures and drought conditions. Add in the increase in human population and now it is a crisis.
‘Day Zero’, which cuts off running water and goes to a ration system, could occur in multiple cities if changes aren’t made. This is a last resort by officials to try and preserve their water supply.
One of India’s largest cities, Chennai, has been waiting for monsoon season to come and refill their reservoirs, but no rain has come. Over 4 million people are searching for water and hundreds have already died from dehydration.
A recent report by The World Resources Institute’s (WRI) Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas listed how each country ranked on water stress, with 17 countries at risk of running out of water completely.
The Middle East and North Africa have the most stressed countries. “Baseline water stress measures how much water is withdrawn every year from rivers, streams, and shallow aquifers for domestic, agricultural, and industrial uses.”
The countries at risk are:
8. Saudi Arabia
11. San Marino
“WRI’s Aqueduct tool shows that 36 countries are considered ‘extremely water stressed,’ where more than 80 percent of the available supply is used up every year by agriculture, industry and consumers,” reports WRI.
These devastating and dire conditions are impacting wildlife as well. Wild animals that rely on watering holes are finding dry patches causing many to die from dehydration.
For many countries, the demand for fresh water far exceeds the natural occurring supply. Not only are many countries facing a water supply crisis, but much of the available water is polluted. However, WRI assures that countries can make changes that can prevent them from running out of fresh water.
For example, Singapore has one of the highest water stress levels, but is not on the list for risk of running out of water because of the innovative changes they have made. “Advanced rainwater capture systems contribute 20 percent of Singapore’s water supply, 40 percent is imported from Malaysia, grey water reuse adds 30 percent, and desalination produces the remaining 10 percent of the supply to meet the country’s total demand,” states WRI.
Lack of water and lack of proper management has left many countries at risk, but there is still time to make changes. Harvesting rainwater, reusing wastewater and improving irrigation efficiency are all changes countries can implement to help reduce their risk. Clean water is vital for all living things to survive and changes need to be made so it is available to all.
Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast that resides in West Michigan. When not writing, she is exploring the great outdoors with her dogs and horses.