To what extent can water shortages be dealt with on an individual level? Water is the basic necessity of life which is even more important than food. A person can live 2 weeks without food but not even 7 days without water. Since few years, there has been a population boom and population in present is almost twice the population before the boom. This has caused water and food crisis in many countries, more importantly LEDCs.

Presently, statistics suggests that 4/5th of African countries are facing critical water shortages along with other countries forming more than 30% of the world’s population. More than 75% of infectious diseases caused in the world are water-borne which kills millions of people each year. Due the shortage of water, more than a billion lack adequate supply of water and more than 2 billion lack sanitation. This makes the water shortage a major world issue that can cause a mighty effect on the countries’ economy.

Despite of the solutions carried out to eradicate this problem, water shortage is still a huge problem in the Saharan countries of Africa and many other parts of the world. Two decades from now, in year 2030, statistics show that world population is going to double which indicates the upcoming danger of the water shortage. If not acted upon it fast, this crisis may rise even more by more droughts. Hereby I mean to say that water crisis is rising at a very rapid rate across the world and if not taken care of, then this might result into a worldwide threat.

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Water shortage in the world has many parts to it. It is most severe at the African countries where people have to walk miles and miles away from their homes just for water that is contaminated and not pure for consumption. People who fetch water are consisting of children who skip school just because they have to assist their parent in fetching water. A child in a slum of Mumbai suffers water borne disease and eventually dies just because the water available there is contaminated by factory runoffs and sewage.

People in villages near the River Nile do not get healthy water because the water is polluted by the sewage and waste of cities like Alexandria and Luxor. Water shortage is spread all around the world due the increasing pollution and population. Water is not available somewhere because the area does not receive rainfall or is not situated near any water source. On the other hand, some people receive plenty of water but that water is unhealthy to use. The continent most affected by the water shortage is Africa. UN and other non-profit organization have given aid to many countries in sub-Saharan regions.

Some of them include providing subsidized water catchment system (relatively inexpensive, flexible and easy-to-install) and dug wells (water provided by a well is free of any harmful bacteria healthy; it prevents people from catching any water related diseases that cause over 2. 2 million deaths around the world every year). One of the innovative solutions by the organizations was a filter straw (each of them costs $5) which is mobile and would provide a person with pure water for 1 year. They were provided free to the villages of sub-Saharan countries, Brazil and in some parts of Asia where the victims of water contamination were the most.

The best way of conserving water is keeping the latest statistics of the consumption of water and acting accordingly about how to distribute water in a particular area keeping its “access to water” in mind. This has become a common method in countries with high population (China, USA and India). The population boom in India with a huge amount of growing population is putting severe strain on India’s natural resources; and one of them which is most affected is WATER. India being an agricultural nation requires water the most.

Shortage of water in India is mainly caused because the water that could be used is contaminated due to agricultural runoffs (consisting of fertilizer and chemical that are harmful to our body) and dumped sewage from industrial areas. India has realized the seriousness of the situation and is taking necessary steps. But still statistics of diseases in India show that more than 20% of them are caused by consumption of contaminated water! The major step forward taken by the government is the setting up of reservoirs in the drought prone regions and also creating well that could provide water to certain amount of people for whole year.

The government also provides farmers with subsidies for digging a well for growing crops. Sewage treatment plants are also set up by the government which made the contaminated water good enough for its basic use. Presently Rajkot holds the second largest population in Gujarat after Ahmadabad and is slowly becoming a victim of over-population. Rajkot has water that could be sufficient enough for all the people living there; but unfortunately, Rajkot has uneven distribution of water supply. Some people get abundant supply of water (loads of water is wasted) where as on the other side, people don’t get water that easily.

Poor people here walk to the nearest wells and bore wells to get water and rich people buy water by ordering water tankers from the water supply firms. Government here is trying to conserve water by having survey all around Rajkot for digging bore wells which supply water all the time of year to respective group of people in an area. Pipeline networks were recently set up from Rajkot city to the village of Ishwariya. Before the pipeline was set up, the water available wasn’t sufficient enough which made women from the village fetch water from the bore well that was a mile away from the village.

Apart from this, on an individual scale, people from Rajkot and surrounding villages harvest rain water by setting up inclined rooftops and storing that water in a well for future use. Poor people that cannot afford these equipments simply conserve water by wasting/using it less. Rajkot government has now realized the seriousness of the situation and is now taking necessary actions. 97 % of the water available on earth is not safe for consumption. This leaves 2% in form of glaciers and 1% in form of rivers/rain.

Population of world is 7 billion which is increasing by 80 million people per year and increasing the demand of fresh water by 64 billion cubic meters per year. By this data we can easily see the upcoming water crisis. Lack of water force people to drink unsafe water. And according to the world health organization (WHO) statistics, unsafe water cause death of 1. 5 million child deaths per year. More than 1. 1 billion lack access to safe water and 2. 6 billion lack access to basic sanitation. These are the present statistics…….

NOW THINK WHAT WILL THE CONDITION OF PEOPLE BE AFTER A DECADE? Lack of water cause problems in irrigation and agriculture which results in serious trouble for food crisis. Shortage of water also causes the tension between two countries because water is basic need for life. There have been predictions that water may be the reason of third world war!! Some of the examples for water disputes are countries like India and Pakistan Israel and Palestine etc. Water shortage is a global issue and we as individuals cannot sort it all out in a short period of time.

But if it cannot be cured, it can definitely be prevented. We as individuals should contribute to prevention of water shortage by not wasting water or not using appliances that wastes water a lot like dishwashers and washing machines (special kinds of dishwashers and washing machines are available that wastes less water). We can also spread awareness about the upcoming threat of water shortage by using means of propaganda (posters, media, websites and facebook page). IF NOT DEALT TODAY, WATER SHORTAGE COULD BE A MAJOR THREAT TO OUR COUNTIRY’S ECONOMY!!!


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