Everybody uses water because it is a prerequisite for life and needed to sustain both life and health, but not everyone gets enough water and this impacts negatively on the quality of life of individuals, and many times of peoples and nations according to a Science Advances report that states that up to 4 billion people in the world are faced with severe water shortage.
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Four billion people means nearly two-thirds of the world’s population or 66% of the global 7.2 billion peoples, and that is bad enough. Everyone that experiences freshwater scarcity or crisis for at least a month each year is included in this estimate.
The United Nations website states, "Water scarcity is both a natural and a human-made phenomenon. There is enough freshwater on the planet for seven billion people but it is distributed unevenly and too much of it is wasted, polluted and unsustainably managed."
Whether natural or man-made, the truth however is that some parts of the Earth face severe water shortage more acutely than others. India makes up one out of the 4 billion people affected by water shortage globally, and China makes up 0.9 billion out of the affected people. Meanwhile, China has a population of 1.3 billion people and India has a population of 1.1 billion people.
The Horn of Africa including northern Africa and the Middle East are also faced with acute water scarcity most of the year, with several parts of the countries being deserts and parched, the Christian Science Monitor explains.
"Other places with low water scarcity throughout the year can be found in the eastern half of the United States, in large parts of Europe, and in parts of South China," the authors wrote.
“If you look at environmental problems, [water scarcity] is certainly the top problem,” said Prof. Arjen Hoekstra of the University of Twente in the Netherlands and who led the new research. “One place where it is very, very acute is in Yemen.”
Yemen could run out of water within a few years, but many other places are equally affected and these include Pakistan, Iran, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia.
So is there a solution to this problem? Well, there is no single solution but a combination of solutions might work. These include making irrigation agriculture more efficient, reducing industrial and domestic water waste, improving water recycling, increasing water storage in reservoirs, increasing desalination of seawater and turning them to freshwater, and managing urban migration in areas already hit with water scarcity.
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