Did you know that only 2.5% of all our planet’s water is actually fresh, drinkable water? And when it comes to the water that is actually drinkable, only 1% of it is actually accessible, and by accessible we mean trapped in snow fields and glaciers. Doesn’t sound too good now, does it? With this in mind, it is pretty much safe to say that we only have real access to 0.0007 of our planet’s water, which is not really enough to satisfy all of our water-related needs and requirements.
And when you think about it, 0.0007% of water is just not enough to feed and fuel about 7 billion people that inhabit planet Earth. By the way, did you know that the lack of clean water affects more than 1.8 billion people every single year? Simply put, what we are talking about here is called the clean water crisis. A clean water crisis is a time when there is not enough clean water for a population, which in turn leads to many different negative things, including famine, drought, and – in some cases – even death.
That being said, over the past few years, clean water has become a luxury for people living in dry regions and African subcontinent. People who live in such places can be seen walking miles and spending almost an entire day searching for a little bit of water. And even if they find it, they just cannot be sure whether or not that water is actually clean.
When basic necessities are almost impossible to meet and people actually have to fight for them, the economic development takes a big hit. And still, take all of our basic necessities for granted without even trying to understand the importance of water conservation. Access to food and clean water are some of the simplest things that we take for granted each and every single day of our lives. But in places like Africa, those two things are some of the hardest resources to attain, especially if you live in a rural area.
Now, there are many different reasons why we have come face to face with such a big clean water crisis. And when you think about it, we can’t blame anyone but ourselves. That being said, here are some of the biggest reasons why we are having to deal with clean water crisis these days!
Yes, that’s right! Overpopulation is one of the biggest reasons why clean water crisis has had a negative impact on so many people over the past few years. When combined with massive growth in the industry sector, the rapid increase of human population has drastically transformed the water ecosystem and it has actually resulted in a significant loss of biodiversity. As human population continues to increase at a rapid rate, the demand for new resources will result in additional pressure on fresh water sources.
Yet another reason why we are dealing with such a big clean water crisis is because water in general has become too polluted over the past couple of years. Fertilizers and pesticides that wash away from farms, as well as industrial and human waste that is directly dumped into rivers are some of the most common sources of water pollution. Waste water leakage from landfills and oil spills on the ground can seep underground, and if that happens, the underground water may become polluted, which means that it becomes unsafe for human consumption.
While indulging in agricultural activities is pretty much always a fun and healthy way to spend a day, agriculture actually uses the majority of our planet’s fresh water. The sad thing here is that about 60% of this water gets wasted due to leaky irrigation systems and inefficient agriculture methods. And on top of all of this, fertilizers and pesticides usually get washed away in rivers and lakes. This, of course, has a negative effect on both human and animal population.
The Effects of Clean Water Crisis
Now, we all know that water can be incredibly useful when it comes to growing crops and taking care of livestock animals, right? The global use of water for irrigation and agriculture is about 70%, but the sad thing here is that only about 10% of that amount is actually used for domestic purposes. As a result, water shortage means that the healthy practice of farming is greatly affected, and not in a good way. This is one of the biggest reasons why clean water crisis often contributes to lower yields and death of animals, especially in arid and semiarid regions.
Access to quality water plays a very important role when it comes to economic growth. Hospitals, hotels, schools, and restaurants – all of these institutions need to stay clean if they want their operations to run as effectively as possible. If a school or a hotel goes without clean water even for a single day, the situation can be disastrous and as a result, it can lead to a huge economic loss for that institution.
In order to attract visitors, restaurants and shopping malls have to be kept clean at all times. Commercial businesses, mining activities, and other manufacturing and industrial processes all need large quantities of water to flourish. Without economic activities, a business simply cannot survive. And that is why every single business should have a running, clean water at all times.
Do you know what has to endure the most damage when there is not enough clean water? Well, the answer to this questions is quite simple – natural landscapes. This is because a lack of clean water can contribute to desertification, loss of plant-life, and death of wildlife and other animals. And as a result, clean water crisis contributes to the creation of a habitat loss that leads to food shortages and poor quality of life in general.
For example, the Aral Sea in Central Asia used to be one of the largest fresh water lakes in the world. The water in that lake is now very salty, and the ecosystems both within and around it have been almost completely destroyed by human hand. It’s just sad, isn’t it?