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Global Water Shortage Essays

The Water Crisis Essay

Water, like weather and food, has the potency to move millions of people from one place to another. Since the beginning of civilization, people have moved to live and settle near water. All people, everyday and everywhere require it to survive. It is necessary for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. Today, we stand at the world`s biggest crisis which is the lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation. Most of the solutions to the issue, must be funded and not taken for granted considering water is necessary for the survival of all living things.
The issue of unsanitary water is commonly found in most developing countries. First of all, 884 million people are not using or drinking clean water resulting in deaths with an average of 3 million people. Also, about 24,000 children are dying due to preventable diseases like diarrhea, which is why the United Nations (U.N.) made a new resolution that claims water is a human right and should be available for everyone. Besides, the developed countries such as the U.S.A, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and other European nations refuse to help and abstain from voting. According to the article “Trickle down: is access to clean water a human right,” the developed nations state, “We don't want to pay for the toilets in Africa.” In addition to these issues, water supply is becoming sacred due to the growing population, the increase of water demand, and global warming. Even though 70% of the Earth is covered in water only 3% is drinkable, which proves that water access is hard to achieve. The access to clean water and sanitation issue has a solution that was suggested by Matt Demon in the article “Actor Matt Demon`s clean water Mission,” which is water.org, a non profitable organization. It provides safe drinkable water for the developing countries. Water Mafia is another issue the developing countries have to face. The water Mafia...

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The Global Water Shortage Essay

1351 words - 5 pages One of the biggest problems in the world is water scarcity. Almost all countries suffer from it and many of them cannot find the most effective solution to avoid this difficulty. The meaning of the world water crisis is very easy to understand, but solving it is very difficult. The amount of world water is limited, as the population is growing fast; the necessity of water use is growing even faster. This essay will examine the water...

5 Ways to Bust California’s Drought

749 words - 3 pages The California water drought has been declared a crisis by the governor of California. 2013 was the driest year on record, and California could be running out of water. Californians should be water wise, and their use, or no use, of water will have an enormous impact on this drought. They can use the techniques published in a recent Time article called, 5 Ways to Bust California’s Drought, to reduce their water use. Landscape techniques,...

The Right to Water

2144 words - 9 pages The World is made up of a variety of people. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, every person has basic rights that they are entitled to from birth simply because they are a human being. These human rights are universal. In other words, these rights apply to everyone throughout the world regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, and age. It is country’s government that is responsible for upholding and...

Geography Research Project 2014

1579 words - 6 pages Ethical Issues All of the diagrams and information has been referenced in the bibliography. All graphs used have been cited and the original source of the diagrams has been stated in the bibliography. The name on the writer of the article or document has been stated as well as the date on which it was written. Figure 1 illustrates all of the constructed dams in the UAE. These are the main sources of the water in Dubai. As seen there are plenty...

The Global Water Shortage

944 words - 4 pages One in three people on each continent is experiencing water shortages. This situation is exacerbated as population growth, urbanization and increasing domestic and industrial water needs. There are lots of countries that suffering with water shortage problems like India, Australia, China, Jordan. India – In India, water shortages, particularly serious simply because the difference between actual food consumption and survival so precarious....

Providing the World with Drinking Water in the 21st Century

1026 words - 4 pages Each day, over 5,000 children die from diarrhea-related diseases developed from unsafe drinking water. Approximately one billion people do not have access to clean drinking water; one billion people about equates to one out of every six individuals. The deaths resulting from unsafe drinking water are greater than the number of deaths caused by war. We all must work together to find new sources of freshwater so that everyone in the world will...

The Water Shortage in Australia

1275 words - 5 pages The Water Shortage in Australia First of all it is necessary to define what the term “water shortage” means. For some people, it means having to constantly traverse long distances just to reach a source of fresh water and to collect it. For others, water shortage means to content themselves with water only for a part of day. And finally, there are some regions in which people suffer from droughts that lead to a great amount of deaths....

Causes and Impacts of Water Shortage in China

2395 words - 10 pages If you ask any environmentalist in China what the country’s principal issue is, the answer is always: water. China is becoming drier every year—its fresh water reserves declined 13% from 2000 to 2009 (Cho, 2011). It is estimated that every year China has a water supply shortfall of 40 billion cubic meters (Lu and Liao 1, 2011). The question is, why does China have such a serious problem with water? One of the major causes of water scarcity in...

Geography Research Project 2014

1594 words - 6 pages Amount of Water used The water in Dubai is used in many different ways. Yet the main area in which water is used would be agriculture as seen in Figure 4. 55% of the water that is available to be used is being used on the croplands and golf courses (Kawach 2012). The domestic use of water is lower than that of agriculture. Yet the amount of water used domestically is relatively high. The people of Dubai live a luxury lifestyle and this comes with...

Water for Africa

1394 words - 6 pages Water is the most important element on the planet. Not only is it important for the earth, in general, but it is key to our survival. Leonardo Da Vinci has said, "Water is the driving force of all nature" (Roberts). It is the building block of life. The average person can survive about a week without water (Ogunjimi). Lack of water is increasing worldwide, but Africa is currently affected the most. It is the second driest out of the 7...

Water Shortage in California is Ruining the Farmers

1519 words - 6 pages Water is a precious resource. It is the lifeblood of every living thing on Earth. California is in the midst of a water crisis. Combined with a three (plus) year drought and many people moving into the state there is not enough water to support the crops the farmers need to grow. There is also a tiny little fish that is causing a mess in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The Delta water pumps were turned off to prevent the extinction of...

Water is the most important single element needed in order for people to achieve the universal human right to "a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family." (Article 25, Universal Declaration of Human Rights) Without access to clean water, health and well-being are not only severely jeopardized, they are impossible: people without basic water supplies live greatly reduced and impoverished lives - with little opportunity to create better futures for their children.

Let us acknowledge that clean water is a universal human right, and in so doing accept that we have the corresponding universal responsibility to ensure that the forecast of a world where, in 25 years' time, two out of every three persons face water-stress is proven wrong. In this issue, United Nations' Secretary General Kofi Annan asks us to face up to the threat of a catastrophic water crisis and counter such bleak forecasts by adopting a new spirit of stewardship. To do otherwise would be nothing less than a crime and history will rightly judge current generations harshly for it.

The world's growing population should be seen not only as one of the causes of the water crisis, but also as the source of its solution, as is stressed by Former President of the Philippines, Fidel Ramos, using the example of the enormous potential of people-power in South East Asia. Human solidarity is the only force capable of facing a task of this magnitude. There must be solidarity in international and regional governance; there must be solidarity between sectors and stakeholders; and there must be political will amongst governments to work in good faith both with their neighbors and with their own people. These people, including often marginalized groups such as women and minorities, must have a voice, and the information and means necessary to use it.

Without water security, social, economic and national stability are imperiled. This is magnified where water flows across borders - and becomes crucial in regions of religious, territorial or ethnic tension. In some cases, as between India and Pakistan over the Indus River, successful cooperation over water resources can be cited as proof that even states with difficult relations can work together. In other cases, the opportunities to improve regional relations which a common watercourse presents have not yet been grasped. The Jordan Valley, shared by the people of Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, is one such example.

Water has been a fundamental security matter in the arid Middle East since antiquity. The allocation, use and rights to the increasingly scarce water resources of this volatile region remain sensitive, and potentially explosive, issues. Water is also largely sidelined, or hidden, in the mainstream peace negotiations. Hanan Sher of The Jerusalem Post sheds light on the trials and tribulations encountered on the road towards achieving water for peace in the Middle East, a road which I myself have recently revisited. Earlier this year I met with Prime Minister Barak, Chairman Arafat and King Abdullah of Jordan, and obtained their commitment to work with my organization, Green Cross International, and our partners, the Center for Middle East Peace and Economic Cooperation, to find solutions to the escalating regional water crisis.

These three leaders explicitly recognized that there can be no unilateral solutions to their essentially trans-boundary water problems. This is as true in the Middle East as it is regarding watercourses shared between the United States and its neighbors. In all of the world’s 261 international basins, joint management should be built on a system of effective interdependence; a pooling rather than a restriction of each nations’ sovereignty.

While armed, inter-state conflicts over water are unlikely, it must be remembered that these are not the only types of conflicts facing water-stressed societies. Internal conflicts between ethnic groups, regions, users and small communities can and do arise over water. Inter-state cooperation is essential to the search for regional water solutions. Where such solutions are not easily forthcoming, international mediation and support should be available. A movement to provide such support has been initiated by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright with the establishment of a Global Alliance for Water Security.

In most cases, however, the practical solutions required are local, reflecting the geographically and culturally specific nature of water-use. The Cold War era of "the bigger the better", which prompted the construction of 45,000 large dams throughout the world, is over. This thoughtless tampering with nature has left a terrible legacy, not least in my own region where thousands of acres of fertile land have been lost, and man-made catastrophes such as in the Aral Sea region cause immeasurable suffering. The articles provided by Kader Asmal of the World Commission on Dams, and water expert Anil Agarwal, seek the path to a new era where social and environmental considerations are given precedence and the benefits of large constructs like dams are questioned. The United States, the second most "dammed" nation, after China, is already breaching many of its dams; elsewhere, particularly in the developing world, the question is how to provide the services supplied by dam projects through other initiatives, like rainwater harvesting and demand management.

At the heart of the matter is the value which we assign to different uses of water. Again, there is no universal blueprint, but it is clear that neither of the two extreme stances, one advocating that water should be free for all, and the other promoting full cost pricing for all water supplies, are desirable. We must remember that the value and the price of water are two very different things; it is substance which must be used efficiently, but must be available for the sustenance of all - including natural ecosystems. This makes the pricing of water a tricky business, as we gather further from World Commission on Water Chairman, Ismail Serageldin, and Douglas B. MacDonald’s insights on the subject.

Thus we are faced with a mighty challenge. Fortunately we have a history of meeting great challenges using imagination and our irrepressible capacity to adapt. To ensure that we journey in the right direction, we must allow our knowledge, experience and institutions to catch up with the overwhelming progress of science and technology, and learn how to become both good neighbors for each other and good guests of the natural environment.

Just as we are moved by water, we must move quickly in order to save it.

Introductory article written for Civilization, the Magazine of the US Library of Congress, October-November 2000, by Guest Editor Mikhail Gorbachev.