ANA MILENA LOPEZ
Many countries have been experiencing some the most serious problems in the world, water shortages. 97% of the world’s water is seawater, which cannot drink. 2% of the water is in glaciers or ice, and only 1% is accessible for human consumption (‘Priceles’ 2003). In addition, many problems in different places of the world have increased water shortages such as climate change,every day born more people, which need more resources to live, water management and farmers have been spending much water in their crops. Despite these problems, governments have been working in possible solutions to supply the demand. The construction of more dams, desalination plants, river diversion projects and recycle waste water are solution, which need big investment. On the other hand,rainwater harvesting, increase prices and virtual water are projects, which do not need an huge investment. Although some solutions have disadvantages, all should be studied and implemented according to the necessity and economy of each country.
The first reason for water problems is Climate Change. Some places have been living the effects of the droughts and hot summers because the CO2 levels haveincreased almost in 13%; therefore, it has generated that our environment suffers many changes and damages. Croplands, forest and grassland have been degraded due to erosion and acid rain, which are produced by pollution. The worst problem is that environmental damage has affected food production. For example, grain production has had a low growth. One possible reason is because greenhouses effectscan be produced by rainwater lack and hot summers (Brown 1990).
Second, population is increasing faster than the resources that everyone needs to live; they do not growth in the same proportion. Resources such as clean drinking water, food, sanitary services are not to the hand of everyone. For example, currently 1 billion people do not have access to drinking water and the future does not showa good panorama, almost “one-third of the planet’s population will be seriously short of water by 2025” (Pearce 2003, p. 33).
Water management has been another problem, which has caused water shortages. Governments have a strong responsibility in this problem because their decisions have been affecting our present and will affect our future. The most illustrative example is Delhi, which isone of the riches cities in India, and where rain is collected, has scarcity of water because years ago water managers took the decision to use the water in the irrigation process. In contrast, Phoenix, which is an arid region, there are not restrictions for the use of water because Phoenix uses recycled waste water in irrigation; therefore, Phoenix people can enjoy freshwater (Rogers 2008). Anotherexample is the Aral Sea. It was the world’s fourth biggest inland sea until the soviet government decided to do a project to irrigate cotton crops. The project diverted two rivers that nourished the Aral. Unfortunately, it has caused many problems. First, many fish died. Second, villages have disappeared. Also, people have health problems and many crops have died out due to the high levels ofsalinity in the water and air. Although the reduction of the Aral Sea water has been less recently, it not known if the Aral can recover (‘Irrigate and die’ 2003).
Indeed, governments have been working in many solutions. Some are technical, which must invest much money; however, many people have been developing non-technical solutions, which have had good results.
Some technical solutions aredesalination plants, dams, rivers diversion and recycle waste water. One advantage to build a desalination plant is that this can generate more water according to the demand. It can supply the necessities to the industries and crops. For instance, the plants built in the 1980s generated 75,000 liters a day, but now one plant can generate 45m liters a day (‘Squeezing water from the sea’ 1998). In...
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