THE TIME has come to address the impending threat of a water crisis which jeopardises the existence of millions of people around the world. With changes in climatic conditions, and steadily declining rainfall in many areas, the time has come to get to the root cause of the problem and arrive at measures to address the problem.
While the 20th century has seen the world's population triple, utilisation of renewable water recourses has increased by six times in the same period. In the next half century, the world population would grow by 35-40 per cent. The stress on water sources poses a major challenge to researchers. The stress on water resources results from an imbalance between the consumption of water and the available water resources.
While discussing issues relating to water crisis management at the World Economic Forum, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said, "The water supply-demand gap is likely to grow wider still, threatening economic and social development and environmental sustainability." Many possible solutions to the challenge were discussed; solutions included an integrated cross-border water management covering many of the world's rivers, as well as aquifers that could be shared among countries.
More than the issue of soaring food prices and the rapid depletion of the world's energy resources, it has been observed that a catastrophic water shortage could prove the biggest threat to mankind in coming years. If we value our own futures on this planet, we should sit up and take notice of the many ways we can conserve water and live in a way that does not pose a danger to the delicate natural climatic processes of the earth.