Future of Water Scarcity

Future of Water Scarcity

Water is the most abundant compound on Earth; in fact, the majority of Earth's surface is covered by water. So, how can it be that we might incur water scarcity in the near future? The scarcity is a result of a lack of clean, drinkable water, which requires processing, desalinization and cleaning before it can safely be consumed. The vast majority of water comes from the world's oceans, which requires a high level of processing, making it unsuitable for direct consumption; as a result, many dry regions on the planet are incurring a shortage of clean water which is becoming more acute over time.

In some areas there are even fines for over use of water, such as in Spain where you can incur a large fine for watering your flowers or in Arizona, where cities have levied large fines for those who are deemed to use excessive amounts of water on their lawns. At major gatherings of public officials, discussions are turning from oil scarcity to the larger issue of clean water scarcity, which had increased the interest of the provide sector into the multi billion dollar industry. Some estimates suggest that water processing and distribution is the next multi trillion dollar industry.

The issue is more than economic, however, as it is becoming a major geopolitical issue as countries work to import water, such as China's efforts to acquire water from the Himalayan mountains and the importation of water from Greece to neighboring Cyprus. Large geopolitical issues are also arising in the American West, where are growing body of states are competing for a smaller stream of potential water sources in the region's few remaining reservoirs and aquifers. As a result, states such as California are beginning to ration use of water and issuing restrictions on its use.

Analysts estimate that over 95% of the world's water sources are in salt-water, while nearly 3/4 of all fresh water is used by agricultural facilities, leaving only 30% of clean water for direct use, much of which is used up in industrial production. At the same time, rising world populations (the world population is expected to increase by nearly 50% over the next 50 years) and industrialization have increased demand year over year, making water conservation and efficiency increasingly important.