WATER CRISIS (Recent Issues)

Today's wars are fought for control of oil, diamond and gold. It may be a war of water tomorrow!.Water is a vital necessity that all people need in order to survive. Without water, people could only go a few days to a few months before having serious health problems or even death.One of the most challenging problems our society faces is the shortage of water. The number of inhabitants in the planet earth is increasing drastically and we don't have more water than two thousand years ago,when the world's population was 3% of today's. The access to fresh water is limited and contamination hovers over it. Only 3 percent of Earth’s water is salt-free, or fresh water. Moreover, nearly 70 percent of fresh water is locked in glaciers
and icebergs, and is not available for human use. The fresh water that is available comes from
rain or from rivers, lakes, springs, and some groundwater reserves, such as aquifers.  According to WHO(World Health Organization), less than 1% of the planet's hydric resources are fresh water and accessible to the human. About 4, 000 children die daily because they lack access to safe drinking water. Among the living, over  900 million do not have access to clean water. Human activities often pollute existing sources of fresh water, making it unusable or expensive to treat and reuse. Diseases caused of water as paludism or cholera kills millions of people every year. Water-borne diseases have killed more people than the violence in wars and other conflicts since World War II.
                                     Demand for water arises from agricultural, industrial and domestic needs in the economy of a country. Agriculture needs water for irrigation. Industry requires water for manufacturing and cooling processes, as well for removing wastes generated by these processes. Domestic use, which includes drinking, food preparation, washing, cleaning, and watering gardens, accounts for a small portion of total use in most countries. In Spain, according to the Environmental Ministry, most of the water consumed is used for agriculture (80%), industry (5%) and domestic consume (15%) including the touristic demand in certain seasonal areas and moments. But in countries that have little agriculture or industry, such as Kuwait, most water is used in households.
                                      According to the World Economic Forum, “during the 20th century the world population increased fourfold, but the amount of freshwater that is used increased nine times over. Already 2.8 billion people live in areas of high water stress and this will rise to 3.9 billion by 2030 and by that time, water scarcity could cut world harvests by 30 per cent.”. Water scarcity is a looming issue that will affect nearly half of the world's population by2030. Population growth, climate changes,and increased pollution are putting a challenge in the water availability. Developing countries lose as much as half their treated water to distribution system leaks, theft, and poor measurement techniques.
                                    Global warming which is a major threat to survival of mother Earth could eventually lead to water shortages, due to high temperatures. Failure to address global warming and climate change could lead to more horrible water problems like flash floods, drought and water supply shortage for domestic use. Today in the world the leading cause of the water shortage is the rising demand for water for the industries and agriculture. In 31 countries around the world, that contains nearly half a billion people, face water shortage with the most severe being in the Middle East and Africa. The major reason is that Middle East and North Africa have the fastest growing population rate of 2.6% and 2.2%.
                                       Roof-top water storage tanks are ubiquitous in Amman, Jordan, where water service lasts only two hours a day. Residents of arid Yemen use only 2 percent of the water consumed by the average person in other parts of the world. Much of Yemen’s water is mined from rapidly depleting underground aquifers. Yemen and Jordan have the most severe water shortages in the Middle East and North Africa          
                                       In Africa the scarcity of safe drinking water has assumed a crisis proportion in urban centers and rural areas. In Sudan 70% of the population does not have access to clean water, sewage system and sanitation. Since the poor have no taps to turn on for potable water supply, they rely on water packed in sachets for consumption. Even though the packed liquid is popularly called “pure water”, the hygiene in the course of processing in some cases is questionable. For other domestic purposes, consumers in many a city  are at the mercy of vendors and there dirty wheel barrows. In the rural areas the streams still remain the source of supply. Water borne diseases such cholera, typhoid fever and diarrhea cannot be eradicated without access to safe drinking water. Issues of health and sanitation are interwoven with water as a central issue of development. In the peculiar case of Nigeria, the problem assumes different colorations from region to region. Desertification in the north exacerbates the threat of water scarcity. In the swamps of the Niger Delta, the pollution caused by the socially  irresponsible methods of oil extraction has worsened the problem for the rural dwellers. People do not  just have any stream from which to fetch water due to the effects of  oil leakage. Elsewhere in the country sources of fresh water are variously messed up.  For the middle and upper classes, the solution is to dig boreholes virtually for every apartment not minding the environmental consequences. Every man provides his own water works. Meanwhile no one is bothered about the possible long-term geological implications of this anarchistic and utterly unsustainable approach to a vast social problem.
TWDB) estimates water shortages during drought periods could cost state businesses and workers by 2060 if water management and conservation practices are not implemented. Due to the importance of water in supporting domestic industries, agriculture and as a whole human survival, nations are already coming forward to claim water resources in the international scenario.
                                       Water issue of Pakistan with India is emerging as a serious crisis, which adds heat to the dispute over kashmir. At recent strategic discussions, the concern, which is shared by the Pakistan military, is that the diversion of Pakistan’s water share in hydroelectric projects by India has already led to a shortage, which in turn has caused huge losses to the agriculture sector, including delay in the sowing of major crops and reduction in cultivated area.
                                      Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev makes a strong case  for the right of the people to “safe drinking water”. If more than 70% of the cell in the human body is water and the substance is the universal solvent, it is important that every human being should as of right have access to clean water. 'Water as human right' is a hot topic which is currently getting lot of attention from world leaders.
                                        Most of the world nations are already taking steps against water crisis. Algeria, Egypt and Morocco spend between 20 and 30 percent of their budgets on water. The Mississippi river accounts for 41% of the United States ecosystem. Currently initiatives are taken to help local farmers cut down on the amount of pollution flowing down stream. China has a project going on that will contain the water routes from the Yangtze River to northern destinations. This is expected to fulfill the countries immediate drinking water demands. Desalination is used as a source for clean and reliable source of water. But it uses large quantities of heat and has some negative environmental consequences. Maximum use of available water can be done by 'Sequential Water Use'. It involves capturing and treating water that has been used in one sector so that it can be directed to other uses. Domestic use requires the cleanest water, so the ideal order is for water to be used in the household first, then in industry, then in agriculture. Urban wastewater, often referred to as “brown water,” can be treated and channeled from towns and cities onto nearby farms, increasing crop yields and decreasing the need for chemical fertilizers.
                                      Some steps could be taken by each individual to avoid water wastage.
Every time we pour 250 ml of water to drink and end up drinking only half that. Therefore, 125 ml of water gets wasted. Then, to wash the glass we used, another 100 ml of water gets wasted. Instead, we should pour only as much water as we drink and use traditional, earthen pots to drink in. Save at least 2 liters of water while flushing by placing a two-liter bottle of water in the tank. This way, we can save at least 50 lakh liters every day. Avoid taking tub baths.Each tub bath uses up at least 125 liters of water. Avoid the shower as well and instead use two buckets. Don't wash your vehicles for at least a month. Instead, use a cloth to wipe them down daily. We wash the vegetables we buy. Instead of throwing out the surplus water, use it for your plants. Never leave tap dripping water. A drop a time amounts to lot more than we can afford now. Many such alternatives can be found to make maximum efficient use of available water.
                         Innovative water technologies are a need for the current situation. World nations need to cooperate and take immediate steps to preserve water resources. Successful policies and programs for managing water supplies might involve strategies for promoting more desirable patterns and levels of water use. Options include reallocating water depending on demand pattern, increasing irrigation efficiency, instituting voluntary conservation measures, involving communities in water management plans, and finding more effective distribution mechanisms. Involving communities in adopting new strategies can increase acceptance of new water systems. Communities can be taught to maintain and operate water systems, and can help determine what type of system best suits local conditions. New long term plans aimed at future, need to be taken at the international, national and regional basis. People must religiously follow water conservation strategies. Let all work to avoid a thirsty future…