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WORLD WATER USAGE -  FUTURE PROBLEMS

Home > Sustainability > Sustainable Water Use > Future Problems

PROBLEM 1: POPULATION

Sustainability Consultants

World population just keeps on growing:

As world population more than tripled in the twentieth century, water use for human purposes grew six fold, with the bulk of that water going to irrigationI. (Worth Repeating)

Population growth does not happen in a homogenous layer over the globes surface, it is concentrated on population centres, this intensification of points with regards to water use, and will further intensify as world population expands.

PROBLEM 2: CLIMATE CHANGE

 Climate change is predicted to make the world hotter and weather patterns more pronounced. The year’s rainfall will fall in shorter period, and will be more intense. Hot / Dry spells will be hotter and drier, evaporation stronger.

 These factors will make it increasing difficult to manage water resources for agriculture.

Some low areas may face problems of a different kind due to inundation from rising seas, large areas of Bangladesh, are low lying a high percentage of which are used to produce food.

THE FUTURE: SOLUTIONS / SUGGESTIONS

SOLUTION 1: POPULATION CONTROL

If a family were sliding further and further in to debt, it may seem logical to suggest that they should not have any more children. However, with regards to water resources that are exactly what is happening, more mouths to feed (and clothe) mean we are slipping further in to our water overdraft; this is applicable to ground water especially.

Reducing the rate at which humans multiply is a very touchy subject, as procreation, is in effect the reason for our existence. There are a number of methods available to control population all of them unpopular, often they clash with religious and moral beliefs. But some have very strong views that it must be tackled.

A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells; the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people. Treating only the symptoms of cancer may make the victim more comfortable at first, but eventually he dies”  Paul R. Ehrlich N

We have seen population control being implemented very effectively in the PRC (If not entirely fairly), so it can be done, BUT the PRC is a dictatorship, and this kind of system can carry out policies like this, a political party trying the same thing in India, may well be voted out of office quicker than you can sat TATA.

Policy Change:

  1. 2 children per couple policy, to halt population growth.
  2. Raise age of legal consent.
  3. Free Contraception + Education / Family Planning Advice

SOLUTION 2: SUSTAINABILITY

Probably the most over used word of the decade. The concept of sustainability is one we ignore at our peril. The problem is that we in the western world, live very different lives to that of those people in LDCs.

Most of the world is developing, people are driven to survive, put food on the table for their family, the needs of the Environment are eclipsed by these very real needs, needs that were common place in the UK only 100 years ago.

Whilst people in MDCs watch TV programs about “life in the country” and “It’s not easy being green” most of the world’s population doesn’t have a telly. In order to choose a sustainable life style it needs to be a choice that is available for you to make. Even in the most developed countries consumers cannot find out information about the “virtual water” in their products, and in LDCs people have bigger fish to fry. 

In order to become more sustainable the consumer must have information on the “embodied” or “virtual water” in a productO.

  1. The production of 1 kg eggs costs 3,300 L water
  2. The production of 1 kg beef costs 15,000 L water

Facts such as these should be made more available, so people can make informed choices and lessen their impact on irrigation / stock watering.

Some Charity funded projects such as the Water Aid funded sustainability project in Ghana have met with some success.P The project involved implementing a water charging scheme and ploughing the money earned back in to the community.

SOLUTION 3: LOW CARBON ECONOMY

If we are to abate climate change then we must switch to a low carbon economy.

Policy Change:

 

1.      Increased acceptance of Carbon Offset Scheme in LDCs

2.      Somehow get countries to set some limits at Copenhagen.

3.      Donate Green power generation equipment to communities in developing countries. (i.e. mustard seed husk burning stoves, India)

 

H- World Bank - http://youthink.worldbank.org/

I-  Transparency International : Global Corruption Report 2008

J- http://en.wikipedia.org/ (31/12/09)

K- http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/averages/ukmapavge.html# (31/12/09)

L- http://www.eswater.co.uk/additionalwater.aspx (31/12/09)

M- EA - November 2008 - Water resources planning guideline (31/12/09)

N- Paul R. Ehrlich,The Population Bomb in 1968 (31/12/09)

O- www.greenlabelling.co.uk (31/12/09)

P-  Lessons from Kitase/Gyankama - WaterAid Ghana Briefing Paper 2005 (No 1)