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Clean, safe drinking water is scarce. Today, nearly 1 billion people in the developing world don’t have access to it. Yet, we take it for granted, we waste it, and we even pay too much to drink it from little plastic bottles. Water is the foundation of life. And still today, all around the world, far too many people spend their entire day searching for it. In places like sub-Saharan Africa, time lost gathering water and suffering from water-borne diseases is limiting people’s true potential.
Education is lost to sickness. Economic development is lost while people merely try to survive. But it doesn’t have to be like this. It’s needless suffering.
WHAT IS WATER SCARCITY?
More than just a lack of water…
Simply put, water scarcity is either the lack of enough water (quantity) or lack of access to safe water (quality). It’s hard for most of us to imagine that clean, safe water is not something that can be taken for granted.
But, in the developing world, finding a reliable source of safe water is often time consuming and expensive. This is known as economic scarcity. Water can be found…it simply requires more resources to do it. In other areas, the lack of water is a more profound problem. There simply isn’t enough. That is known as physical scarcity. The problem of water scarity is a growing one. As more people put ever increasing demands on limited supplies, the cost and effort to build or even maintain access to water will increase.
And water’s importance to political and social stability will only grow with the crisis.
WHY IS WATER IMPORTANT
When water comes, everything changes…
When students are freed from gathering water, they return to class. With proper and safe latrines, girls stay in school through their teenage years. Health
Safe water, clean hands, healthy bodies. Time lost to sickness is reduced and people can get back to the work of lifting themselves out of poverty.
Access to water leads to food security. With less crop loss, hunger is reduced. Schools can feed students with gardens, reducing costs. Poverty
Access to water can break the cycle of poverty. The communities we serve are ready to grow. We can’t wait to see how they choose to do it.
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO HELP?
See how we’re working to address the water crisis in Africa
In some places, it is simply dry. Water is hard to find. In others, this most critical need is literally only a few feet below ground waiting to sustain life. The Water Project, Inc. is a non-profit organization working to provide access to clean water to people in developing nations who suffer needlessly without it. With our team of supporters we’re funding clean water projects like water wells and rain catchment systems.
“The old water source gets salty in rainy season and people could not drink it. The new water well is good, it has clean water and is located closer to the community.” Edison N – Farmer
The Water Project: Kinama II
The new water is very clean compared with the old one because people were getting diseases due to the bad water. Now this is helpful to the people in this village we are happy and many thanks to God and the people providing water for us.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“In Meatu district, Shinyanga region, Tanzania, water most often comes from open holes dug in the sand of dry riverbeds, and it is invariably contaminated.”
Physical water scarcity and economic water scarcity by country. 2006 Water scarcity is the lack of sufficient available water resources to meet the demands of water usage within a region. It already affects every continent and around 2.8 billion people around the world at least one month out of every year. More than 1.2 billion people lack access to clean drinking water. Water scarcity involves water stress, water shortage or deficits, and water crisis. While the concept of water stress is relatively new, it is the difficulty of obtaining sources of fresh water for use during a period of time and may result in further depletion and deterioration of available water resources. Water shortages may be caused by climate change, such as altered weather patterns includingdroughts or floods, increased pollution, and increased human demand and overuse of water.
A water crisis is a situation where the available potable, unpolluted water within a region is less than that region’s demand. Water scarcity is being driven by two converging phenomena: growing freshwater use and depletion of usable freshwater resources. Water scarcity can be a result of two mechanisms: physical (absolute) water scarcity and economic water scarcity, where physical water scarcity is a result of inadequate natural water resources to supply a region’s demand, and economic water scarcity is a result of poor management of the sufficient available water resources. According to the United Nations Development Programme, the latter is found more often to be the cause of countries or regions experiencing water scarcity, as most countries or regions have enough water to meet household, industrial, agricultural, and environmental needs, but lack the means to provide it in an accessible manner. The reduction of water scarcity is a goal of many countries and governments.
The UN recognizes the importance of reducing the number of people without sustainable access to clean water and sanitation. The Millennium Development Goals within the United Nations Millennium Declaration state that by 2015 they resolve to “halve the proportion of people who are unable to reach or to afford safe drinking water.
Physical and economic scarcity
Around one fifth of the world’s population currently live in regions affected by Physical water scarcity, where there is inadequate water resources to meet a country’s or regional demand, including the water needed to fulfill the demand of ecosystems to function effectively. Arid regions frequently suffer from physical water scarcity. It also occurs where water seems abundant but where resources are over-committed, such as when there is over development of hydraulic infrastructure for irrigation. Symptoms of physical water scarcity include environmental degradation and declining groundwater as well as other forms of exploitation or overuse.
Economic water scarcity is caused by a lack of investment in infrastructure or technology to draw water from rivers, aquifers or other water sources, or insufficient human capacity to satisfy the demand for water. One quarter of the world’s population is affected by economic water scarcity. Symptoms of economic water scarcity include a lack of infrastructure, causing the people without reliable access to water to have to travel long distances in or fetch water, that is often contaminated from rivers for domestic and agricultural uses. Large parts of Africa suffer from economic water scarcity; developing water infrastructure in those areas could therefore help to reduce poverty. Critical conditions often arise for economically poor and politically weak communities living in already dry environment.
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