Water is an essential resource for humans. However, there are over a billion people worldwide who are unable to access clean and safe water to consume. What does this lead to? Thousands, and even millions of people killed each year due to poor sanitation, and water related diseases. Now, what is water scarcity? Water scarcity is essentially lack of water resources. Either, not enough of it, or inability to access water. 70% of the planet is covered with water, so why are we lacking it? Well, not 100% of the water on earth is drinkable. 97% of all water is salty and unsuitable to drink, 2% is frozen and inaccessible, so the remaining 1% is left for us. Meaning, freshwater is actually incredibly rare. However, even that 1% is enough for each person currently living on this planet. But, unfortunately, the fresh water isn’t distributed fairly around the globe therefore several countries lack it. Wherever you are, you need water to survive, so we do everything possible to make sure we have enough. Many people around the world, women and girls in particular, walk hours and hours every day to get fresh water for their families. Even then, it may not be enough or clean. Luckily, here in New Zealand water is easily accessible straight from the tap and the majority of us don’t need to stress over it. However, it’s much more challenging to get drinkable water in developing countries. So what are the causes and effects of water scarcity?
Firstly, the causes. One cause is the overuse of water. This can be due to the increase of water consumption. Obviously, as the population grows the demand for water increases along with it. To the point where the demand for fresh water has tripled in the past 50 years. Which leads to more people using water for their personal uses (eg. drinking, cooking, washing etc.) But, consumption only accounts for 8% of the global usage of water. 70% goes to agriculture and the remaining 22% goes to industrial uses.