WATER- SHORTAGE & STRESS

Water

By 2025, half of the World’s population will be living in Water Stressed Areas. UNESCO predicts that about 1.8 billion people will be experiencing water shortage and half of the world will be living in water stressed conditions.

With increase in demand for clean water and growth in human population, areas which are already stressed will be worsen by that time.

Shortage of water can be seen as population driven scarcity and low water availability per person. It is conditioned that when large population has to be depended upon limited resources. Therefore, resources might not be sufficient to satisfy the human demands. Usage of larger resources would lead into population driven scarcity.

Stress can be understood by impact of high-water use (withdrawals or consumption) comparison to water availability. Large portion of resources being used could lead to difficulties in accessing the resource for future which would also impact social & environmental life.

Shortage and Stress are the defining indicators to understand the development of scarcity of water over time. Therefore, they provide the idea to start with first step in analysing past trajectories.

Shortage is a physical, practical and objective reality that can be measured consistently across regions over time. It totally reflects availability of water usage in comparison to physical abundance of fresh water. For instance, one specific region may have sufficient resources to fulfil the demand but due to pollution or other environmental factors those resources are unfit for consumption.

Stress is the ability to meet human and ecological demand of fresh water though. Several physical aspects like water availability, its resources, quality of water and accessibility to water are considered under the same category of stress. It usually occurs as we know when demand exceeds than availability of the resources. The problem is deeply enrooted in the country which hosts 17% of world population for only 4% of the global water resources available.

It is said that hydrological cycle completes its closed loop cycle (earth circulates water throughout its eco systems) that neither adds nor take way water. In theory, amount of water on earth will always remain the same. Then, where is the problem ? The problem is when hydrological cycle gets disturbed and water which normally gets distributed to a particular/certain area no longer does so. This is how, some areas would be shortage & stress as resources are being highly compromised.

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