Global Water Shortage Risk Is Worse Than Scientists Thought

More than two-thirds of the world's population faces water scarcity for at least one month during the year.

Global Water Shortage Risk Is Worse Than Scientists ThoughtThe growing risk of worldwide water shortages is worse than scientists previously thought, according to a new study.

More than 70 percent, which is 4 billion people, of the world’s population lives without sufficient access to fresh water for at least one month of the year, according to a new paper published Friday in the journal Science Advances.

Previous studies calculated a lower number, estimating that between 1.7 and 3.1 billion people lived with moderate to severe water scarcity for at least a month out of the year.

Scientists, led by Dr. Arjen Hoekstra of the Netherlands’ University of Twente, used a computer model that is both more precise and comprehensive than previous studies have used to analyze how widespread water scarcity is across the globe.

Their model considers multiple variables including: climate records, population density, irrigation and industry.

“Up to now, this type of research concentrated solely on the scarcity of water on an annual basis, and had only been carried out in the largest river basins,” Hoekstra said in a statement.

“That paints a more rosy and misleading picture, because water scarcity occurs during the dry period of the year.”

“The fact that the scarcity of water is being regarded as a global problem is confirmed by our research,” Hoekstra added.

“For some time now, the World Economic Forum has placed the world water crisis in the top three of global problems, alongside climate change and terrorism.”

Global Water Shortage Risk Is Worse Than Scientists Thought a
About 71 percent of the world’s population faces water scarcity for at least one month out of the year.

Severe water scarcity happens when consumption is twice as high as available resources, according to the study’s researchers. Consequently, half of those suffering from water scarcity are in the world’s two most populous countries — India and China — where demand is high.

High-scarcity levels are also widespread in areas with significant irrigated agriculture (like the Great Plains in the United States) or low natural availability of fresh water (like the Arabian Desert) where populations are also relatively dense, according to the study.

Similar patterns exist in the south and western United States where heavily populated states like California have been in a drought for years.

See also: UN: We Have 15 Years Before We Run Out of Clean Water

The consequences of water scarcity can result in economic losses due to crop failure, limited food availability and poor business viability, and can threaten environmental biodiversity.

When faced with scarcity, areas in need of water often resort to pumping groundwater, which can permanently deplete the supply.

Water shortages have also precipitated or heightened the potential for global conflicts in places like the Middle East and Africa.

Freshwater scarcity is a major risk to the global economy, affecting four billion people directly,” Hoekstra told The New York Times. “But since the remaining people in the world receive part of their food from the affected areas, it involves us all.”

Despite the grim findings, the study recommends ways to reduce scarcity, such as increasing reliance on rain-fed rather than irrigated agriculture, improving the efficiency of water usage and — perhaps the most challenging for humans — sharing what’s available.

The researchers point out that for these solutions to be effective, governments, corporations and investors will need to cooperate.

Find us here

Get news from the CSGLOBE in your inbox each weekday morning

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors/source and do not necessarily reflect the position of CSGLOBE or its staff.

Paid content

History of life on Earth – Big Five mass extinction events

Although the Cretaceous-Tertiary (or K-T) extinction event is the most well-known because it wiped out the dinosaurs, a series of other mass extinction events...

What on Earth Is This Fiery Blob?

At first glance, it looks like a fiery monster out of "The Incredibles." Or maybe a glowing alien orb, or a giant, irritated zit...

The Ancient Pyramids of Antarctica — Piri Reis Map Suggests a Thriving Ancient Civilization

The images show what appears to be three pyramids with four sides similar to the famous Giza pyramids in Egypt. Could these be authentic man-made...

What's New Today

Georgia House Votes To Allow Citizens To Abolish Police Departments In The State

The Georgia House backed an effort on Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department and any...

Leaked CDC document contradicts Pence claim that U.S. coronavirus cases ‘have stabilized’

Even as Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday that coronavirus...

Five bombshells about Trump from Bolton ‘s book

Excerpts from former national security adviser John Bolton ’s book about his time in the Trump administration...

Don’t Listen to Fox. Here’s What’s Really Going On in Seattle’s Protest Zone.

It seems I live in a city undergoing a “totalitarian takeover” that will lead to “fascist outcomes”...

MOST READ

What Is Agenda 21? Depopulation of 95% of the World By 2030

Most people are unaware that one of the greatest threats to their freedom may be a United Nations program which plans to depopulate 95%...

Five bombshells about Trump from Bolton ‘s book

Excerpts from former national security adviser John Bolton ’s book about his time in the Trump administration...

Don’t Listen to Fox. Here’s What’s Really Going On in Seattle’s Protest Zone.

It seems I live in a city undergoing a “totalitarian takeover” that will lead to “fascist outcomes”...

History of life on Earth – Big Five mass extinction events

Although the Cretaceous-Tertiary (or K-T) extinction event is the most well-known because it wiped out the dinosaurs, a series of other mass extinction events...

Inside Russia’s Psychedelic Salt Mine: Naturally Forming & Mind-Bending Patterns

A few hundred feet below the Russian city of Yekaterinburg is an abandoned salt mine of indescribable, psychedelic beauty. Entire caves and corridors covered with...

The Earth forms

The Earth is thought to have been formed about 4.6 billion years ago by collisions in the giant disc-shaped cloud of material that also...

Ice Age every 100,000 years?

Experts from Cardiff University have offered up an explanation as to why our planet began to move in and out of ice age every...

Skies to be Openly Sprayed With Toxic Metals this Weekend, Blocking the Sunlight

The skies in Maryland will be openly sprayed with toxic metals by NASA. Barium, strontium, and cupric-oxide are being sprayed off the coast of Maryland...

Yes, the US Government Has Experimented With Controlling Hurricanes

The 2017 hurricane season has wrought more damage on the Caribbean and the Gulf Coast of the United States than any season in the...

The Government Actually has a Zombie Apocalypse Plan — and It’s Just Been Declassified

A few years ago, the Center for Disease Control launched a zombie preparedness initiative that drew significant attention. The Department of Defense followed suit and developed...

Russia’s Massive Tesla Tower Revealed in Drone Footage

Russia's Massive Tesla Tower Western energy sanctions levied against Russia are already threatening to trickle down and compromise the energy security of the entire EU,...