We all know because of climate change, the water crisis has been a big problem everywhere. The United States has been facing water problems that Syria, China, France, Brazil or any country in the world faces. In Syria, they are experiencing one of the worst droughts in Syrian history in a hundred years. China has been battling water pollution since they become a superpower. In France, clean and potable water is their primary concern, same with South American countries like Brazil. In the United States, fresh water has been the main problem. Bottled water prices are up, and the government has been sanctioning people who try to collect rainwater using bolted steel tanks without a permit. Earth is consist of 75% water. Water is everywhere. Earth’s freshwater adds up to about 10-11 million cubic kilometers, and it is only less than 1% compared to all sea and ocean water including ice caps. Then again, there are places in the world that water is not available like desserts, died swamps and areas affected by years of the rain-less season due to global warming. Water crisis does not mean there is a lack of it, water is everywhere. Water crisis means that a particular place can’t support the water demand of its people. Determining this problem is very complicated, but it is also essential. Risk management and proper planning are needed if we want to eradicate this global problem. The big question is, how can we measure the availability of water in every place? How can we identify these places that are vulnerable to water shortage?
One way to identify and measure the availability of water is to measure the ratio of supply over the people using. We use water in almost everything we do. Drinking, cleaning the house, taking a bath, washing dishes, washing clothes or cleaning the car. The most important use of water is growing the food we eat. Seventy percent of the water we use is from the rivers and streams around us. Almost 90% of the water we use will go to irrigation. How much water we use is really “used”? Households have wasted half of the water that comes out of our taps. The waste should have gone into farm fields that needed them the most. The good news is, most of these wastewater goes through treatment facilities to be recycled and used again. At least 70% of tap water in the United States comes from treatment plants. After they are treated, it is then released into streams and rivers to be somebody else’s water source.
Today, water-saving technologies help us conserve resources. Devices like The TapNFlush or Niagara Water Savings Kit are a big help. The only problem is due to this technology, less and less water is taken out of the streams and rivers, and it also means that less water has been put back into our waterways. It can be a big save for your water bill, but it also means that your community will have less water to use.
The perfect example of this dilemma is when a farmer use water to irrigate their farm fields, some of this water will evaporate and become clouds. Clouds are blown away by air and will go to other places. The water used in irrigation will not go back to the farm downhill. If you compute the water consumption by agricultural farms all over the world that don’t go back to the watershed, it will constitute to 75% of overall water consumption by farms thru irrigation. On the other hand, we should always keep track of our water consumption, on how much water is available for people to use. Availability still fluctuates because of floods, dry season and of course, global warming. In most places, rain and snowfall can replenish the groundwater that was lost. But in some areas, groundwater is not recharged so using them will be unsustainable.
What does this mean? It means that our society is in big trouble if we use all our water reserves or even 70% of it. We should be aware that the climate today is very unpredictable. We don’t want to get to the point where we will have no water in our basins, rivers and streams when dry season starts.
We should manage our resources appropriately. It is critical for us to meet the current and the future demand for water. Shortage of water is very dangerous. We can live without electricity, but we can’t live without water. They are our source of living, gives us food and makes us clean. Global warming is real. This problem with water is not a fairy tale that our elders told us to keep us in line. As global warming intensifies, the issue of water shortage also intensifies.