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How to avoid a global water crisis

How to avoid a global water crisis

21 Feb 2022

Global fresh water is limited, and by 2050, the planet could be inhabited by 10 billion people. To avoid a global crisis, we must immediately change the way we use and manage water. Here are five ways to get started.

Today nearly 4 billion people are already dehydrated for at least one month a year, and the situation is rapidly deteriorating. The combination of climate change, growing demand and a growing global population is putting increasing pressure on the world's freshwater. Human activity has disrupted the water cycle - the system that produces and recycles water - and it must now be repaired as a priority.

Shared water

Competition for water is likely to intensify, and good water governance will be critical. Although access to clean water and safe sanitation is a human right, the fact that one in four people do not have access to clean water at home remains. Likewise, about half of the global population lacks safely managed toilets, a major driver of disease and death, especially among children. A lack of water and sanitation has heightened the vulnerability of the world's poorest people at a time of growing climate threats.

Sharing water is an effective way to increase justice and resilience. The same applies to relationships between countries that share rivers, lakes or groundwater aquifers. By co-managing, they can better prepare for increasingly erratic rainfall patterns and the increasing number of droughts and floods that must be expected as global temperatures rise.

Pay attention to water

Things will only improve when we start to understand the true value of water. All life needs water, it is a finite resource and there is no substitute. Given these three characteristics, it seems absurd that water is generally not assigned any value, although fortunately this is starting to change.

When society places more emphasis on water, we can expect increased efficiency and reuse, rather than waste and pollution. Both the public and private sectors want to invest in crumbling water infrastructure to limit waste and prepare for future extreme weather. It makes sense to apply more nature-based solutions to clean water and recharge supplies. As we begin to understand the true cost of pollution, we can expect improved wastewater treatment and more recycling. All sectors of society must learn to manage water resources in a way that strengthens the water cycle.

Restoring ecosystems

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) warns that an era of mass extinctions could also threaten human survival. We depend on healthy ecosystems for food, water and livelihoods. But by protecting and restoring ecosystems, we can limit climate change, halt biodiversity loss, and improve water security.

Since all living things depend on water, we must pay more attention to the role of water in ecosystems. This is starting to happen. More and more governments and companies understand that they have a responsibility to protect and restore forests, rivers, wetlands and oceans. This in turn should mean that we stop over-pumping and polluting the world's groundwater, which poses a huge risk to global food and water security.

Build resilience

There are growing signs that the planet's life support systems are severely weakened - people around the world are experiencing unprecedented droughts, heat waves, floods and heavy rains. Such extreme situations are only expected to become more frequent and more severe, so all sectors of society must be redesigned to improve resilience.

Fortunately, there are already many great examples around the world of how to do this. Cities are integrating trees, wetlands and farmland to replenish and clean water, increase carbon storage, and reduce flood risk. Farmers turn to agroforestry and methods to improve soil health. Communities protect local watersheds and manage forests in ways that improve groundwater recharge.

What all of these solutions have in common is that they help us tackle the world's greatest challenges simultaneously. Through innovation and working with nature, we can improve the lives of the poorest, restore the water cycle, mitigate climate change and improve biodiversity.

Transforming Agriculture

Around the world, agriculture has had to go through dramatic changes for a number of reasons. First, to avoid mass starvation, as climate change and land degradation make agriculture more difficult in many parts of the world. Second, making freshwater available for alternative uses – food production currently accounts for 70 percent of freshwater withdrawals. The third reason is because agriculture is a major driver of water pollution and global warming.

We need more research and innovation to improve agricultural sustainability, climate resilience and water use efficiency. But many alternatives already exist to replenish water, restore soil health and improve food security. A combination of traditional knowledge and new inventions usually yields the best results. Changing eating habits and reducing waste are other key elements in the reform of the global food system, which has already begun and now needs to accelerate rapidly.

In addition, we can also obtain water from the air through air to water generator to deal with future water shortages and effectively avoid the global water crisis. The water making machines we produce can provide water for homes, offices, industries, and agriculture. Resource Solutions.

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