There is nothing more essential to life than water. Yet, from the Israeli Negev to Flint, Michigan, and from rural, sub-Saharan Africa to Asia’s teeming megacities, there’s a global water crisis. Humanity is struggling to access the quantity and quality of water they need for drinking, cooking, and growing their food.
From the Dawn of Civilization, humans have chosen to live close to water sources for domestic and agricultural water supply, and with time, humans have been able to decrease their reliance on direct proximity to rivers by developing advanced measures to transport adequate water from other sources (for example, canals or pipelines, groundwater pumping, and desalination)
Water scarcity is commonly analysed using the vital concepts of shortage (impacts due to low availability per capita) and stress (impacts due to high consumption relative to availability) which indicate difficulties in meeting the needs of a community.
While water consumption increased, the population under water scarcity increased from 0.24 billion (14% of global population) in the 1900s to 3.8 billion (58%) in the 2000s. Today, nearly all sub-national trajectories show an increasing trend in water scarcity.
The concept of scarcity trajectory models and shapes is introduced to characterize the historical development of water scarcity and suggest measures for easing water scarcity and increasing water availability and sustainability.
The presentation discusses the two main water scarcity drivers (quality and availability) and suggests that in the world’s extremely dry regions, more far-reaching policies are needed to avoid solve the problem as technological solutions are in hand