Humanity is getting more and more comfortable now, at what will most likely be dangerous consequences in the future. A new study from the University of Twente in Netherlands recently found out something very worrisome about our planet’s water supply – four billion people are troubled by water shortages.
Global water shortages
Mostly caused by overpopulation and poor consumption practices, as well as by excessive agriculture demand, the lack of fresh water seen by our planet is currently affecting 4 billion people. By using a high resolution computer model able to the amount of surface and underground fresh water, the team from Netherlands compared it against industry, agriculture, and especially household needs.
According to the findings, four billion people around the world live in areas where water is scarce for at least part of the year. This is a far higher number than was previously thought. Despite there being enough water left in the world, there are other problems causing this.
The main issue is that water isn’t available everywhere, as it is very difficult to send tremendous amounts of water in various places around the world. Additionally, water isn’t available year round, as it becomes scarce in many areas during late spring, summer, and early fall.
According to the team, places with increasing population and large agricultural enterprises are the most affected, with agricultural practices having the number one highest demand for water. Next are business practices and individual households, the latter being responsible for 1-4% of the total water demand.
WWF – The World Wide Fund for Nature
According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, as much as two thirds of the entire world’s population will be suffering from water shortages by the year 2025. According to them, agriculture is responsible for 70% of all water consumption, but due to faulty irrigation systems, about 60% of that is wasted.
The fund also said that agriculture is to blame because people tend to cultivate crops in environments where they have no chance of lasting, contributing to the waste. Additionally, agriculture also largely contributes to polluting the world’s water supply via fertilizers and pesticides.
Apparently, as much as 41% of the world’s population lives in river basins that suffer water stress. Additionally, the increasing population is also overstressing out water supply. The WWF advises governments to set monthly water caps, so as to raise awareness and to stop overconsumption of the precious resource.
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