Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Water Problems

Around 783 million people—11 percent of the world's population—don't have access to clean water, which can be deadly. Lack of clean water and sanitation is the ultimate cause of approximately 3.5 million deaths every year.

By 2030, only 60 percent of humanity’s demand for water will be met by existing resources at the current rate of use, according to the U.N. That means four out of 10 people will be without access to water.

2.4 billion people are still using unimproved sanitation facilities, including 946 million people who are still practicing open defecation. India has the highest number, around 190 million people, practicing open defecation, mostly in rural areas. This has led to a number of health impacts, including typhoid, cholera, hepatitis, polio, trachoma, intestinal worm infections and infectious diarrhea, which kills 760,000 children under the age of five worldwide every single year.

Many nations have been willing to go to extremes not only to protect their water security, but to use water as a military weapon.

"Geopolitics and a history of cross-border disputes have meant that transboundary water issues are perceived largely from a perspective of national security," writes Mandakini Devasher Surie, the Asia Foundation’s senior program officer in India." She says that a "highly securitized approach has severely limited access to water and climate data." By not sharing critical regional water data, Surie argues, it is difficult to get an accurate assessment of water availability. And you can't solve the problem if you don't know the extent of it.