Strategies to improve water scarcity

Around two-thirds of that is tucked in frozen glaciers and unavailable for our use. According to WWFsome 1. Clean drinking water is scarce and there are millions of people across this globe who spend their entire day searching for it.

Strategies to improve water scarcity

McGill University Despite what appears to be an insurmountable problem, it may be possible to significantly reduce global water scarcity in 35 years.

The dilemma is not just one faced by the developing world. A new paper published in Nature Geoscience outlines strategies in six key areas that scientists believe can be combined in different ways in different parts of the world to effectively reduce water stress.

Water stress occurs in an area where more than 40 percent of the available water from rivers is unavailable because it is already being used—a situation that currently affects about a third of the global population, and may affect as many as half the people in the world by the end of the century if the current pattern of water use continues.

Reducing the fraction of water-stressed population by 2 percent by the year could be achieved with the help of new cultivars, or higher efficiency of nutrients application.

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Concerns include the impacts of genetic modification and eutrophication. Irrigation efficiency could also be improved in irrigated agricultural basins. A switch from flood irrigation to sprinklers or drips could help achieve this goal, but capital costs are significant and soil salinization could ensue.

Improvements in domestic and industrial water use could be achieved in water stressed areas through significant domestic or industrial water use reduction, for example, by reducing leakage in the water infrastructure and improving water-recycling facilities.

Limiting the rate of population growth could help in all water-stressed areas, but a full water-stress relief would require keeping the population in below 8. Given current trends, this could be difficult to achieve.

Hard measure strategies Increasing water storage in reservoirs could, in principle, help in all stressed basins with reservoirs.

Strategies to improve water scarcity

Such a strategy would require an additional km3 of reservoir capacity, for example, by making existing reservoirs larger, reducing sedimentation or building new ones. This strategy would imply significant capital investment, and could have negative ecological and social impacts. Desalination of seawater could be ramped up in coastal water-stressed basins, by increasing either the number or capacity of desalination plants.

A fold increase would be required to make an important difference, which would imply significant capital and energy costs, and it would generate waste water that would need to be disposed of safely."Significant reductions in water-stressed populations are possible by ,” adds co-author Dr.

Water Scarcity Solutions

Yoshihide Wada from the Department of Physical Geography at Utrecht University, “but a strong commitment and strategic efforts are required to make this happen." Strategies to reduce water stress “Soft measures” 1.

Call for solutions – WSS. The Water Resources Group has brought together case studies from around the world of currently available, replicable and practical solutions for water use transformation.

SIWI generates, shares and promotes knowledge about water-related issues. One of the main channels for this is our publications programme, which includes several .

Take for instance one of the biggest environmental concerns — water scarcity and access to clean water, ranked as the number one global risk by The World Economic Forum Global Risks Report in Water issues and problems in developing countries are diverse and serious: Problems include the natural scarcity of drinking-water in certain areas, floods, the siltation of river systems, as well as the contamination of rivers and large dams.

Strategies to improve water scarcity

These problems are more severe and widespread in the developing countries than in developed billion people in developing countries. "Israel’s successes arise from the continuous need for and support of innovative methods, technologies, holistic water resource management and strategies for sustainably providing for the nation’s water needs." Overcoming the challenges of an arid climate and scarce natural water reserves has.

Israel: Innovations overcoming water scarcity - OECD Observer