Water scarcity is major and unreported issue of the world; it is the lack of fresh water resources to meet the water demand of the world’s population. In 2019 the World Economic Forum listed it as one of the biggest global risks in terms of potential impact over the next decade.
As we know, 70% of our planet is covered by water. From this only something like 0.014% is fresh water and easily accessible to us. 97% of the remaining water is salt water and 3% is hard for us to access. Theoretically the amount of fresh water on the planet should be sufficient on a global scale. However, due to factors like climate change, resulting in some geographic locations being extremely dry or wet, and the increasing demand of freshwater in industry, humanity is now facing a water crisis.
It is estimated that around 1.1 billion people worldwide do not have access to fresh water, and around 4 billion live in regions that have limited access to water for at least one month of the year; half of these live in China and India. Another 2.4 billion people do not have access to adequate sanitation facilities, which leaves them exposed to water-borne illnesses such as cholera and typhoid fever. Around 2 million people, of these mostly children, die each year from diarrhoea diseases.
A lot of the water systems that feed our growing population and keep ecosystems flourishing have become stressed. More than half of the planets wetlands have disappeared and our rivers and lakes are slowly drying up or becoming too polluted for us to use. The biggest consumer of water is agriculture. As a result of climate change water and weather patterns are changing around the world, leading to floods in some areas and droughts in others.
If this rate of consumption continues, the situation will only get worse. It is estimated that by the year 2025 two-thirds of the world’s population may face water shortages, also causing ecosystems to suffer even more.
In our next blog post we will see how making simple changes in our every day life and turning to organic clothing can help save huge amounts of water.
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