Every day we hear news items about the shortage of water due to the drought.
Water shortage may be caused by climatic changes such as altered weather patterns including droughts or increased pollution and increased human demand and overuse of water.

A water crisis is a situation when the available potable, unpolluted water within a region is less than that region’s demand.

Water covers 70 percent of our planet, and it is easy to think that it will always be plentiful. However, freshwater – the stuff we drink, bathe, irrigate our farm fields—incredibly rare. Only three percent of the world’s water is fresh water.

As a result, some 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to water. Inadequate sanitation is also a problem for 2.4 billion people and they are exposed to diseases like cholera, typhoid and other waterborne illnesses.

Most of the water systems that keep ecosystems thriving and feed a growing human population have become stressed. Rivers and lakes are drying up or becoming too polluted to use. More than half of the world’s wetlands have disappeared. Agriculture consumes more water than any other source and wastes much of that through inefficiencies.

At the current consumption rate, this situation will only get worse. By 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population may face water shortages. And ecosystems around the world will suffer even more.

Human population has successfully harnessed many of the world’s natural waterways—building dams, water wells, vast irrigation systems and other structures that have allowed civilizations to grow and thrive. But water systems are increasingly stressed, and some rivers and lakes are drying up.

As humans continue to pump more carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, patterns of weather and water will change around the world. Droughts will become more common.

Water pollution comes from many sources including pesticides and fertilizer that wash away from farms, untreated human wastewater, and industrial waste.

Agriculture uses 70 percent of the world’s accessible freshwater, but some 60 percent of this is wasted due to inefficient application methods.

In the last 50 years, the human population has more than doubled. This rapid growth—with its accompanying economic development and industrialization—has transformed water ecosystems around the world and resulted in a massive loss of biodiversity.

Let us be aware of this situation and do whatever possible to preserve the fresh water resources.
D. Weeratunga