One of the most precious elements to survive on Mother Earth is water. Without water, it will not be possible to survive on this planet without a doubt.
However, in the advanced world with so many climatic changes, water scarcity has proved to be a visible crisis. Studies have shown that many places in the world do not have access to clean water due to shortage. Several regions in Asia, Sub-Saharan, and rural Africa face a tremendous global water crisis. People from these places face great difficulties to collect clean water for cooking, drinking, bathing, and even for washing clothes. If these situations are not rectified immediately, the world will be in a deep and unavoidable crisis.
According to extensive research, it has been proved that an estimate of 844 million people in the world has no access to clean water. Due to this reason, some communities have to deal with severe poverty, which itself is a major crisis.
In addition, studies have shown that due to shortage of water, over 800 children of age 5 die from diarrhea which is caused by poor sanitation and dirty water. The problem of water scarcity is so prominent in rural parts of Africa that women have to travel great distances to get clean water daily. These facts prove the effect of water crisis that needs to be sorted immediately.
How does water crisis affect the world?
Effects of water crisis can be aptly divided into four major groups. And they are described as follows:
1. Affect in Health
Due to a significant shortage of water, people from around the world are made to drink poor quality water that has their origin from flowing streams and are usually contaminated. By drinking this water, people fall sick from various types of water-borne diseases. Often such conditions have even led to death.
Another most significant issue of water shortage is a sewage problem. Due to less amount of water, the sewage doesn’t flow properly. As a result, it turns into a breeding ground for insects that causes deadly diseases like Dengue, Malaria, and so on.
In addition to these two problems mentioned above, water scarcity leads to sanitation hazards. For cleaning, people are forced to use less water. Clinics, restaurants, and other public places fail to maintain standard level of cleanliness. Therefore, it affects the health of people.
2. Water Crisis Leads to Hunger
Vegetables are a significant part of our food consumption chart. But for the plants to grow, they require plenty of water. According to sources, approximately 70% of water resources are used up for irrigation and agriculture. So, one can imagine what will happen if the water crisis issues continue for an extended period. Also, scarcity of water means that farm animals will not be taken care of properly.
Water Crisis is a significant issue, which, if not solved instantly, can make the entire world population die because of hunger.
3.Water Crisis: Important Cause of Poverty
In order to maintain economic prosperity and enhance living conditions, access to clean and sufficient water is not enough. For schools and businesses to thrive, water is necessary. Just imagine, a person coming to the office without having a proper breakfast and bath due to water shortage. Will his or her productivity be high? The answer is a big NO, obviously!
Public places like restaurants and hotels, won’t be able to survive and prosper without maintaining cleanliness. If there is a shortage of water, they will not be able to clean properly the utensils, food items, and so on. Such a situation can cause them to go out of business in no time and subsequently, affecting health of people who may eat there.
Apart from these, several commercial farms, mining processes, manufacturing activities, and many more will not be able to function due to shortage of water.
So, it is pretty clear that if the water scarcity goes on any longer, it will have a significant impact on the world’s economy, leading to poverty.
4. Education System Suffers Due to Water Shortage
Last but not least, the problem of water scarcity has a long-lasting impact on the education system as well.
Wondering how is it possible?
Well, many kids from around the world have to travel a long distance to fetch clean water for their family. As a result, these kids often miss or don’t get the opportunity to go to school. Also, even if they go to school, they don’t get enough time to study.
So, these are the issues that occur due to water shortage issues, which are quite prominent around the world. If the problem is not dealt with immediately, things can go out of hand, which is why effective measures are needed to be taken as soon as possible.
However, before moving on with the remedies and processes that can help us deal with water scarcity, let’s focus on the reasons that lead to water crisis.
What Factors Lead to Water Crisis?
Various reasons might lead to water crisis, and some of them are noted below. Let’s check them out!
1. Change of Climate
It is a known fact that with the modernization of the civilization and growth of the related industrial sectors, there has been a visible change of climate that no one can deny. As a result of this climatic change, the planet is getting warmer. This leads the clouds to migrate towards the poles from the equator. It is caused by a phenomenon that is known as Hadley Cell Expansion. The Hadley Cell Expansion is the reason why the equatorial regions, like the Middle, Central and East America, and Sub-Saharan Africa remain deprived of rainfall, which leads to water crisis on these regions.
2. Growth in World Population
Over the years, the population of the Earth has reached 7.7 billion (until October 2019 according to studies). So, it is evident that this vast rise in the world population will affect the availability of water. Massive population growth is one of the fundamental reasons that lead to water crisis, and if not solved immediately, we will soon have no water to survive on.
3. Depletion of Groundwater
According to studies, the deep underground of the Earth’ aquifers is the storage of almost 30 percent of the freshwater. This amount of water is extracted daily for various reasons like farming, drinking, and other kinds of industrial processes. Studies have shown that the groundwater water level is getting depleted at a tremendous scale, and it is one of the crucial reasons that had given birth to water crisis issues.
Often, the water infrastructure conditions are ignored as a result of which, the water crisis scenario has worsened over the years. Throughout the world, water infrastructure like sewer systems, pipes, treatment plans, and so on are in bad condition. Research has shown that around 6 billion gallons of treated water in the United States of America are lost daily due to pipe leak issues only.
4. Poor Condition of Water Infrastructure
Water infrastructure in so many regions are not taken care of properly. Pipe leaks, cleaning, and other factors contribute to the poor condition of these infrastructure that supply millions of people with water everyday. If such a situation continues to grow, the water scarcity problem will never get resolved.
5. We tend to Ignore Natural Infrastructure
Water Crisis is the child of ignoring and depleting natural resources. With the growth in population and civilization, the depletion rates of trees and plants have skyrocketed. People cut down forests to develop new buildings and roads, which is extremely harmful because trees and plants do a fantastic job of replenishing groundwater. They also help in bringing rainfall and let the soil to absorb water. This is the reason why it is not wise to ignore natural resources.
6. Water Gets Wasted Due to Several Reasons
In today’s advanced world, water gets wasted due to several reasons. Some of them are the process of flood irrigation; wet cooling at thermal power plants that are water-intensive, and so on. These kinds of methods use lots of water, ultimately, giving rise to water crisis issues.
These are some of the reasons that lead to water crisis and need to be checked immediately so as to avoid the disaster of living without water in the future, which doesn’t seem possible anyways!
Many people from around the world have this opinion that one of the main reasons for water crisis problems is the advent of technology.
But there are several ways in which technology is a boon in solving water crisis issues.
Surprising, isn’t it? Let’s find out more about this.
How technology helps in fighting water crisis?
Several types of research and studies have shown that technology can be a crucial factor in enhancing the accessibility and availability of clean water from across the world.
We, human beings, start our day by drinking a glass of water as it helps in flushing out the toxins from our body. (Well, it is a practice that most of us indulge in if not all!). But there are many regions of the world, where people don’t have the luxury to start the day with clean drinking water. The shortage of water is so prominent in such regions that people often have to intake dirty water or remain thirsty for an extended period.
It is a known fact that water is replenishable. From our school days, we have heard the 70% of the Earth is covered in water bodies and this element of nature is recurring. So, how come we are facing a water crisis in such a severe manner?
Well, the answer to the question is,
70% of Earth is covered with water bodies that include oceans and seas as well. We cannot consume water from these sources. Another factor that has lead to water is deforestation, as discussed earlier. Cutting down trees to a large extent has resulted in depletion of groundwater level.
Rapid growth in technology for urbanization and climatic changes are the two main reasons for the water crisis. However, these factors are hard to control in the present-day world that we live in.
But, one easy thing that might work is water utility. The key factors lie in turning these operators into organizations that are efficient and modern. It can happen with the help of smart technologies and will help in fighting water scarcity.
With the help of technology, it is possible to develop affordable connected devices, sensors, and other forms of communication channels. These developments are revolutionary in collecting essential and technical data from the groundwater level like water flows, quality, and pressure.
After collecting all these data from several sources, it is integrated on a platform. This procedure has helped in the development of infrastructure management, human resources, and energy.
Though, one thing that should be remembered is using technology for preventing water scarcity that must depend on smart systems. And for it to become successful, the focus should be placed on operations, infrastructure, and institutions. The infrastructure helps in determining the performance and capabilities of the water systems. It says a lot about how the foundation is built and maintained.
A smart system using technologies can be ideally built if the focus remains in the three areas mentioned above. It will make sure an accurate water supply and protective measures related to water supply, proactive governance, and integrated resources management.
Useful Engineering Solutions to Fight Water Crisis
- First and foremost, we can fight the water crisis through the process of large-scale desalination processes. Through this process, the salt from ocean water and seawater is extracted that leaves us with fresh water. In today’s world, to fight off water scarcity, there several desalination plants available but the process is quite costly.
- The technology that involves agriculture irrigation is also useful in fighting the water crisis. Agriculture is considered to be one of the biggest consumers of fresh water. Therefore, with the help of enhanced irrigation technologies to analyze data that will reduce costs and increases efficiency. Studies have shown that this improved irrigation facility has helped almond farmers to grown almonds by reducing a substantial amount of freshwater intake.
- The technology of wastewater treatment is also beneficial in fighting the water crisis. Many countries have incorporated the method of recycling wastewater into clean and safe drinking water, and it proved to be a huge success.
In today’s technologically advanced world, we will find certain best technologies that are a Godsend to fight against water crisis and some of them are listed below:
Top 8 Technological Wonders to Fight Against Water Crisis
The problem of water scarcity has reached its highest point. According to extensive research, about two-thirds of the world population that constitute about four billion people have to face water scarcity for at least one month of the year.
If we focus on global problems that have arisen due to water crisis issues, one will get shocked. Reports have shown that farmers from the central and northern parts of Europe have failed is facing trouble growing crops due to water shortage and is going bankrupt. If the condition worsened, the entire population of the world will probably have to go without food. Agriculture needs ample freshwater and the problem of water scarcity is proving to be lethal for the industry.
Also, according to news reports, it has been seen that the Ireland government has come forward to urge its residents to use less amount of water while taking a shower. It is a good way of saving water and fight against water scarcity.
In South Africa, Cape Town was very close to suffering from ‘day zero’. This is the day when the place will run out of water. However, after launching various restrictive measures, Cape Town was able to dodge this disaster at least for this year.
However, the field of technology is here to save us from the anomalies of the water crisis. The three processes of preservation, conservation, and recycling are mainly the foundation based on which these technologies have flourished. Also, eminent scholars are working hard to come up with effective solutions, less time consuming, and cost-effective at the same time.
We all know for a fact that 70% of our world is made up of water. But most of then consist of the salty ocean and seawater that cannot be used.
However, in this era of the water crisis, wouldn’t it be nice if we could convert this unusable water into its usable counterpart?
Well, researches have shown that producing accessible and drinking water from saltwater is a time consuming, expensive, and challenging task.
However, to deal with this, VICI Labs has created a machine. It has the capability of pulling out the moisture from the sir and making up to eleven gallons of clean water in semi-arid conditions that too daily. The device for manufacturing freshwater is called WaterSeer. It is a fantastic device the can blow wind into an underground chamber. After this, the moisture gets condensed, and it turns into water.
Too good to be true, isn’t it? Well, there is a catch to this. VICI Labs’ website has claimed that this device can accurately turn moisture from the air into clean water. But there has been some debate going on among critics about its efficiency.
2. A mini water filtration system
Sawyer has come up with a mini water filtration system that makes that the world population always gets access to clean drinking water. It is reliable and an award-winning system. In addition to this, it is straightforward to use as well with a weight of only 2 ounces. Studies and several tests have shown that this Mini Water Filtration system can filter up to 100,000 gallons of water that are effective in removing about 99.99% bacteria that includes E. coli and Cholera.
Moving on to the next one,
3. The Janicki Omni Processor
Well, to be honest, obtaining clean drinking water from Janicki Omni processor from Janicki Bioenergy is probably not conventional. This is because this system uses human feces to produce fresh water. However, one of the brilliant human beings on the planet, Bill Gates doesn’t seem to have problem drinking water made from this machine then we might consider it as well. Right?
Moreover, apart from producing clean water, it also helps in creating ash and electricity as well. Truely a technological wonder, isn’t it?
4. Variable Electro Precipitator
Considered as one of the most affordable and practical processes of treating water is Variable Electro Precipitator. It is developed and trademarked by blue F&T Water Solutions, and it does an outstanding job of creating clean water. This process in Valarie Electro Precipitator is achieved with the help of electrocoagulation, and it helps to remove the dirt and contaminants that are present in the water.
The process in this system is thorough, which means that the availability of clean drinking water is guaranteed. Also, one can use this device in any climate and environment as it has a customizable setting that too at an affordable cost.
5. The Personal Conservation Tech
Well, there are many smart devices out in the world that can be incorporated in the daily activities of our lives to save water.
Technology can, to some extent help us to fight the water crisis, but we have to deal with it ourselves by making smart choices in day to day activities of ours.
As mentioned above, apart from technology, we can also fight the water crisis by implementing these methods.
6. Graphene Filter
It is possible to drink seawater after removing the salt from it and turning it into freshwater. However, the entire process is time-consuming and expensive. This is where the Graphene Filter comes in. The process of removing salt from seawater and making it eligible for drinking is desalination and the Graphene filter is based on this principle.
An eminent research team has been able to create a coating for the desalination membrane that is Graphene-based. This kind of Graphene-based coated membrane is much more scalable and robust when compared with the currently used Nanofiltration membrane technologies. The Graphene-based coated sturdy and practical membrane are also applicable in protein separation, in the pharmaceutical field, wastewater treatment and many more.
So, the invention of this technology will assure that we do not run out of drinking water.
7. Converse water with IoT technology
In the field of technology, IoT is a big thing. The use of IoT and its sensors is applicable for fighting the water crisis. With the help of this technology, it is possible to monitor water usage. This can help in reducing water consumption levels to a great extent, this useful in fighting water scarcity. Research has shown how farmers in California are challenged to keep the water level to a minimum level for agriculture. So, to them, this process is very effective.
There is an organic farm named Devine Organics that has successfully implemented the Internet of Things technology to keep a track of the water saturation level of the soil and manages irrigation through it. With the help of this, it is possible to ensure that there is no overuse of water while growing crops. The Devine Organic farm uses the IoT irrigation technology that is provided by the company called, WaterBit. It has helped the farm to reduce water usage by 6%.
Another IoT solution provider is the Banyan Water that gives water conservation methods to data-driven enterprises.
Now, moving on to the next solution,
8. Preserve Water with the Help of Drones
Using drones to fight water crisis issues is an excellent option as it helps in preserving water. With drones, it is possible to keep an eye over the areas that are labeled as too dangerous or expensive to access. It allows the researchers to get a view of the infrastructure and landscape of the area and determine what solutions it requires.
According to some recent studies, drones have been used in remote and hot areas to detect whether there are any leaks in the underground water pipes of the area. As a result, it helps in water preservation.
Another effective technique is the near waterless laundry system from Hydrofinity that is useful for replacing a large percentage of water that is utilized in washing systems.
How to fight the water crisis in 10 different ways?
Water is one of the most essential and required elements that we need to survive on this planet. But gradually, the water crisis problem is turning into a huge nightmare that needs to be addressed immediately. Here are the ways in which we can prevent this problem to turn into a catastrophe.
- The main reason for the water crisis is wastage of water through leaks in pipes and toilet tanks.
- So, keep an open eye and upon finding a damaged pipe, change it immediately.
- After smoking, many people have the tendency to flush down the cigarette butts, which also flushes down gallons is water. So, it needs to be stopped.
- It is recommended to take shorter showers that save up a lot of water.
- Also, it is a great idea to install flow restrictor or shower-heads to prevent excess loss of water.
- Many of us have the habit of brushing our teeth while keeping the tap water running. It is a horrible practice and must be restricted.
- It is a great idea to plant plants and trees that come with drought resistance features.
- It is recommended to water the lawn when it is needed and not keep the water sprinklers on throughout the day.
- On hot summer days, children often play with water, which is a waste and it should not be encouraged.
- Make sure the while leaving the house, every taps and faucet of the house is off, and no water is being wasted.
- Dishwashers use a lot of water, and it is recommended to use it when there is a full load. Also, try to use it less often.
- Therefore, in addition to technology, if we implement these methods, it can assist in a big way to fight the water crisis.
Water Crisis is an issue that is identified globally. Various reasons lead up to scarcity of water. Few of these reasons are, wastage of water, change in the climate, cutting down trees for construction purpose, humongous rise in the population, and so on. If the issue is not solved as early as possible, it might turn into a nightmare. Our lives on Earth might be in danger.
Keeping this in mind, we all must contribute towards preserving water by following key activities to save water from its loss, taking initiative against damage to water quality, and avoiding unnecessary usage of water. As there are plenty of extensive growth and development in the field of technology at present, we can leverage them to effectively fight against water crisis. These methods are very helpful, and if implemented in the right way, will be a lot beneficial to the Earth by preserving water for a better tomorrow. Thus, make every drop of water count!