Water is essential for all life on Earth. While there is an abundance of water on Earth, about 97% of this is saltwater and is unsuitable for drinking. Furthermore, most of the remaining fresh water (3%) is frozen at the poles, contaminated, or otherwise undrinkable. As a result, less than 1% of all water on Earth is clean and easily utilized by humans. [2]

In addition to its scarcity, water also is unevenly distributed. Due to a variety of factors, primarily climate, and lack of local infrastructure, many regions suffer from seasonal or year-round water stress. According to the UN, over one quarter of the world’s population (2.1 billion people[3]) lack access to safe drinking water. Many others must travel great distances to retrieve water from dwindling sources. [4]

Water stress is everywhere, not just in developing countries. California is in the midst of an major drought, and is pumping in much of its water from other states. Large-scale restrictions on water use are already being implemented.[5] As the climate continues to undergo changes, the region may see even more extreme drought conditions in the future.

Categories: Water Scarcity

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *