What water stress will mean to us!
Water security is still a serious problem for many, as reported with these infographics of the Guardian: a fifth of people drink water from a source that is not protected from contamination, collecting water can be a major burden, typically assigned to women, and continuous availability can be a problem. And water stress is already affecting 1 in 10 people. Most experts warn us that water scarcity will become a major challenge that could affect the expansion of agriculture and therefore the food safety, and the safe supply of many major cities.
Watch this short video for more on the coming Water crisis
And go to the webpage of water.org or The Water Channelfor additional information.
And the National Geographic Website website presents an Infographic of what it means for all of us.
The Water Risk Atlas of AQUEDUCT provides an interactive map for analyzing risks
Among the many studies available at the 2030WaterResourcesGroup , the report Charting our Water Futurewill provide the methodology to address the planning of water security. This report will explain that by 2030, using the BAU scenario (Business As Usual), a global gap of up to 40% in water supply can be expected, with a severity that will depend on the regions and will be amplified by the climate change. This means that these regions should dramatically adjust their expectations, or undertake massive adjustments to ensure their Water Security.
Four billion people facing severe Water Scarcity!
When assessed on a seasonal basis, two-third of the world population (i.e. 4 billion people, mostly in India, China and North Africa are exposed to conditions of severe water scarcity at least one month per year. These findings (article in Science)are resulting from a calculation of the water stress per month for grid cells of 30x30 arc. For each cell, the ratio of the water footprint (or consumption) and the water availability was computed, resulting to the water stress, the ratio of both.
Furthermore, by 2030, according to McKinsey and the WBCSD report on Water Risk Management, the world may face a shortfall of 40% between the forecast demand and the available supply.
Because the water supply is a local issue, the design of solutions for use-reduction is local as well, and the devil will remain in the details. A catalogue of possible solutions to increase the water productivity in Agriculture, Industries or Municipalities is presented in the report Managing Water Useof the 2030WaterResource Group
Similarly, The Ceres is highlighting the 5 ingredients that should lead to a more sustainable water use for the agro-food supply chain, that reportedly makes 70% of the water consumption worldwide: it is foremost about assessing risks of water stress, and acting consequently through policies and practices.
And accordong to the National Geographic, awareness in agriculture, industry, cities or investment funds is progrssing and contributing at reducing wate usage.
A lot can be done by the business community to alleviate the impact of water use: adequate design, going for circular use, pricing, even internally, water use and aiming for better efficiency. More on this with this report of the WBCSD
Developing a Water Market
Water scarcity is a sure thing to come, and building more infrastructure to cope with the demand only will not do. Solutions will require developing a more efficient water market, especially for agriculture and industry or cities in regions of water stress, so that the water productivity is dramatically increased, and the water losses are reduced. This can only be achieved after ensuring that the right to access to safe water for those who might be vulnerable is guaranteed.