The world is already in deep trouble. Whatever news channel you go to, whatever newspaper you read, there are things everyone should be aware of. This includes being environmental problems the world is facing because of climate change. We all know how it has dramatically changed the landscapes of different places but did you know that decades from now, the world will be living in a planet that may not be able to sustain human life anymore?
One of the alarming environmental issues we must be aware of is the high demand of water now. Given this demand, there is low supply of water consumable for people in each country. Adding climate change to the issue, water levels have changed in different regions – affecting not only the environmental situations of different countries, but also the political and economic sectors. With some areas becoming drier and others having more water than expected, we’re not entirely sure where to get the water we need to sustain the lives of people from different nations.
In a study conducted by the World Resources Institute (WRI), they have identified the places that will likely have trouble getting enough supply of water. Their study includes a ranking of the future water stress by each country in the year 2040. Water stress is based on the ration of withdrawals to the supply of water available in each country.
Source: Washington Post
Water stress are categorized from low to extremely high, which depend on the given scores. 0 being the lowest and 5 being the highest. 33 countries were ranked in the category of being the most water stressed countries where 14 of them will be coming from the Middle East. 9 out of 14 got a score of 5.0! This may be expected since geographically speaking, these countries have the least supply of water. These countries rely on groundwater and desalinated sea water for their supply. These countries are: Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Palestine, Kuwait, Israel, Oman and Bahrain.
The challenges these countries face have affected the livelihoods of different nations. For example,Saudi Arabia normally plants their own supply of grains but due to the water scarcity the country is facing, its government announced it will be relying on grain imports this year. Water has also played a major factor in different national and international problems several countries face in these areas.
As for the countries with the largest economies, United States, India and China also are at risk with their water supply. While these countries will see a constant level of water stress by 2040, there are specific regions for each country that will have a water stress level increase by up to 40-70%. These huge countries have different regional variations which cause a difference in the actual water stress level in each region. One must also take note that there are countries that manage their water supply exceptionally well, which may cause the difference between the actual and expected water stress level.
For each country, there are different factors why the water stress level is high. Usually, it’s a combination of these different factors that worsens the amount of water supply available. For example, Chile is projected to have extremely high stress (compared to a previous medium water stress in 2010) because of rising temperatures and precipitation patterns. While countries like Botswana and Namibia have limited water supplies and more likely at risk from floods and droughts.
These are the top 10 water-stressed countries by the year 2040:
Source: World Resources Institute
While this study wouldn’t be able to predict the water conditions in the future, it will certainly help different organizations, private institutions and governments in dealing with whatever possible solutions necessary to improve the situation. Water is very crucial to human life and the progress of every nation to obtain such high water stress level can pose as a threat economic growth and may lead to more problems in the future. Water organizations and different governments all over the world must work hand in hand to manage these water problems and make rules that will allow everyone to join in on the different conservation practices out there.
Again, the world is in danger. Once the water demand is too low, there’s no telling whether humans will still have a bright future or not.