Water crisis is not only a problem of our country but of the entire world. According to the United Nations. Today, 26 percent of the world’s population faces a crisis of clean drinking water. Not only this, in the next 27 years i.e. by 2050, 1.7 to 2.4 billion urban population of the world will face drinking water crisis. India is likely to be hit the hardest.
Also, 46 percent of the world’s population is far from the standard of sanitation. In this regard, UNESCO Director-General Andre Anjole says that the situation is so dire that there is an urgent need to establish a strong international system before this global crisis spirals out of control.
According to the World Water Development Report 2023, the goal of providing clean drinking water and sanitation to all people in the world by 2030 is a long way off. The fact is that the world’s water consumption has increased by one percent per year over the past 40 years. Given the growing world population and socio-economic changes, it is expected to increase in the same manner till 2050.
As for Asia, about 80 percent of Asia’s population is facing severe drinking water crisis, especially in Northeast China, India and Pakistan. The global urban population facing this crisis is expected to grow from 933 million in 2016 to 1.7 to 2.4 billion in 2050, with India the hardest hit.
According to Richard Kanner, Editor-in-Chief of this Global Water Development Report, if these uncertainties are not resolved and solutions are not found soon, it will certainly be very difficult to deal with this dire global crisis. That is why it is very important to stop wastage of water.
There is no doubt that the threat to the world’s water security is increasing day by day due to climate change. So this crisis is taking a frightening form on five billion people of the world. A study conducted by scientists at the University of California has revealed that the increasing severity of climate change is causing this critical water condition. Because not only are people still not aware of the environmental hazards associated with climate, they are also unaware of the connection between climate change and water security. In this study, scientists researched 142 countries of the world and included 21 countries in the low income group and 34 countries in the lower middle income group. The researchers also used data from the 2019 Lloyd’s Register Foundation World Risk Survey. According to scientists, in the next 20 years, this crisis will take a dire shape and water will become a serious threat to people. Researcher Joshua Inwald says the biggest need is to make environmental issues concrete and relevant, and only then can some change be expected.
The Global Commission on the Economics of Water, a group of 17 experts from the world’s science, economics and policy-making, believes that continued warming will lead to water scarcity and reduced food production in the next two decades, even for India. 16 percent shortfall in food supply by 2050. And while the food insecure population will increase by 50 percent, demand for fresh water supplies worldwide will increase by 40 percent by the end of this decade. In addition, China and many Asian countries, which are currently food exporters, will become net food importers by 2050.
Considering the availability of water supply, our country’s water supply availability is 1100 to 1197 billion cubic meters, which is expected to double the water demand by 2050 as compared to 2010. In fact, this crisis is a social and health crisis as well. Because in the last 50 years, water-related disasters such as floods, droughts, storms and extreme temperature rise have killed around 2 million people worldwide. This situation will worsen day by day. The biggest reason for this is that nearly two billion people in the world are forced to drink contaminated water, which is causing the risk of water-related diseases in the world to increase rapidly. Statistics show that more than 14 lakh people die every year due to waterborne diseases.
It has come to light that 7.4 crore people are losing their life expectancy due to diseases caused by consumption of contaminated water. One of the reasons for this is the lack of proper treatment of the waste water coming out of the houses.
Vikas Parasram Meshram is a journalist