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Water Scarcity: A Problem Engineers Should Be Aware Of

1.1 billion people do not have access to water while 2.7 billion people experience water scarcity for at least one month

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Attention Engineers


Take a look at the water you’re drinking right now? Amazing how one sip can energize the body.

Incredible how one drop of water can save lives. Take a look at it now.

Marvel at how engineers across the globe have found a way to make it safe to drink and how it was delivered to you like it was that easy.

Take a look at it now before one day, you’ll realize what was once something we took for granted becomes so scarce that people will spend millions just to get a taste of it.

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That’s the scary future of the water we’re using now. It’s not going to be available for human consumption forever.

You may think, “But 70% of the planet is covered with water, how is it possible for it to be scarce?”


Yes, the world is covered with 70% water but only 3% of that is freshwater – the one safe to use for drinking, bathing and irrigation.

Two-thirds of this freshwater, however, is tucked away in frozen glaciers. Now, can you imagine how limited our supply to freshwater is?

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According to the World Wildlife Organization (WWF), around 1.1 billion people do not have access to water while 2.7 billion people experience water scarcity for at least one month. Due to lack of water available, millions of people die – usually from diarrheal diseases.

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Climate change has also played a huge part in this problem since it has affected the water stress level from medium to extremely high levels.

Water stress is the ratio of the withdrawal of water needed to the supply. As greenhouse gases increase in the environment, the weather we’re dealt with has affected the ecosystem.

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Places become drier while the others become wetter. It is estimated that by 2025, only 1/3 of the world’s population will be left with enough water for consumption. What will happen to the remaining 2/3? What is the future for the whole world when we won’t have enough water available?


Another factor that plays a huge part in water scarcity is water pollution. Water pollution is caused by industrial wastes, untreated human wastewater and the pesticides that come from farms.

These wastes poll the water by leaching into underground aquifers. The water then becomes unsafe to use for everyone. As for the pollutants that come from farming, did you know that 70% of the freshwater accessible to humans is used in agriculture?

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The terrible thing about this is that 60% of that water used is wasted due to inefficient systems used in farming. Imagine rivers and lakes being dried up but only wasted in irrigation systems.

Population growth also plays an important factor in water scarcity since more demands must be supplied to the growing population. However, there is limited supply already. With more people to feed, more production of energy and commodities are also needed which leads to a decrease in water availability.

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So how does this affect us all? Aside from the obvious answer which is we will suffer from water shortage years from now, this also damages ecosystems. Dried out lakes and rivers means several species have died. Pollution has resulted to destruction of homes to different kinds of animals – invertebrates, fish, birds and even mammals. This has also affected the cultivation of rice and a shortage in food production.

But what can we do? Is there anything that can be done to prevent the increase in mortality rate because of the water shortage?

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Different organizations and governments must work together to find solutions to manage water scarcity.

Proper water management must be implemented in different regions to control the water distribution and to avoid water shortages if possible.

Actions must also be done to further avoid water pollution.

To end this special coverage on water scarcity, here’s an important thought we want to let you know.

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There’s still time to save the planet. Take a look again at that glass of water in front of you. It’s still drinkable. But if you don’t do you part in protecting our water, you won’t be seeing drinkable water a few years from now.

So from an engineer to another engineer, let’s work together in saving our water. It’s possible if we work together. It still is.


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11 shares, 116 points
Engr. Alaric Saltzman
Rugby is life. Studied electrical engineering at Imperial College London. Lives in Peoria, Illinois. Follow me


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