How Can Everyone Have Sufficient Clean Water Without Conflict? Essay

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Clean water, a necessity for all but not available to all at present. Water scarcity is a serious issue demanding our attention. As numbers suggest around 700 million people around the world do not have enough clean water for drinking, sanitation and other requirements. This number is expected to reach 3 billion by 2025 because of different factors. The demand of water is increasing day by day due to a rise in population, global warming and hence the resulting change in climate across the world.

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Water extraction rate from natural resources like lakes, rivers and underground water wells is faster than their replenishment rate. Figure 1(Hinrichsen, Robey and Upadhyay “Solutions for a Water-Short World”) below shows links between population and freshwater and figure 2 (Hinrichsen, Robey and Upadhyay “Solutions for a Water-Short World”) below shows distribution of world’s water and availability of freshwater. Population growth in countries like Ethiopia, Pakistan, China, India, Kenya, Nigeria, and Peru will have adverse effects on their water resources. More population means more food requirements and hence more agricultural irrigation. To make things worse existing resources are being turned into waste disposals by ever increasing industrialization, urbanization and rising use of pesticides and fertilizers in agriculture.

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Less water for irrigation means less food grains production and eventually a global food crisis. Shared water resources among countries will add to this fight. For instance Africa, where the conditions are already worse, will see different countries fighting for the Nile, Zambezi, Niger, and Volta river basins to meet their water needs. Similarly Aral Sea Basin for Central Asia and rivers like Amu Darya and Syr Darya will be a subject of conflict among Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. The US and Mexico also share cold space over the Colorado River (Hinrichsen, Robey and Upadhyay “Solutions for a Water-Short World”; Ch.

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