Day Zero has been looming over Cape Town but now other cities around the world are quickly running out of water.
Global Water Crisis
Here in Australia we have been struggling through droughts on and off for a long time, however it hasn’t gotten to point (yet) of disaster like it has in South Africa, India and China. Everyday Aussies aren’t dying and millions of people aren’t forced to line up for water everyday. In January 2018 Cape Town residents were warned the city would run out of water within three months unless drastic action was taken. Images of people lining up for their daily allowance of clean water splashed across the news and thankfully, the government did not have to turn off the taps. So, where has the water gone? Well, a combination of minimal rainfall and rising temperatures led to dams running dry. Add difficulties transporting and desalinating water from other dams and Day Zero quickly felt inevitable. Although it appears that Cape Town has made it through the worst, other cities are suffering. Chennai, in India’s East has been slowly losing it’s water to development and climate change in the previous decade. The millions of residents that rely on four main water reservoirs (that are currently are at less than 1%) are dangerously close to going completely dry. It’s not just clean drinking water that they need but hospitals and schools require clean water to perform basic operations and in the face of disaster, many have shut down.
Shockingly, one in nine people in the world do not have access to clean water within 30 minutes of their home. Can you imagine having to walk up to 5 km just to have water clean enough for your family to drink?
Is It Too Late?
While it might seem like it should be one of the most abundant resources in the world (it covers around 71% of the Earth) it’s the lack of clean water that’s the problem. Thanks to government intervention and restrictions in places like Cape Town they have managed to hold on, for now. But what can be done to prevent water shortages in the future? Well, it comes down to number of factors. Number one being education. Educating communities on how to save water and also educating people about how climate change impacts water supply. Local councils also need to learn how to better manage water systems for the 21st century. Although certain rivers, lakes and dams tend to suffer more because of rising global temperatures more attention needs to be given to all water supplies, not just ones that have a history of running dry. Of course there are also organizations working incredibly hard to make sure everyone has access to clean water but it’s a long road ahead and they are always in need of support. It’s estimated that it would cost around $40 billion per year until 2030 in order for every person alive to have access and it would also mean a large majority of countries would need to contribute financially. But, the knock on affects it could have would be priceless.
Are you worried about running out of water LiveTribers?