Whilst some areas are weathering widespread flooding, others, like Cape Town and California, are experiencing water shortage crises. How we choose to manage our most precious commodity may well define us as a species over the coming century. But in order to address the crisis, we first need to understand what it is.
The causes of the coming water shortage crisis
Overconsumption, an over-burgeoning global population (and its subsequent demands on agriculture), and anthropogenic climate change are the main contributors leading to global water shortage problems. The current crisis in Cape Town for example—a City on course to set records as the first to officially run out of water—is partly to blame on population growth, coupled with three years of very low rainfall.
A consequence of the water crisis
More than two-thirds of our planet is covered in water. Yet it is a remarkable fact that as little as 2.5 per cent is suitable for our drinking—and the vast majority of that small fraction is also inaccessible to us, being stored away in the glaciers of Greenland or Antarctica, or as permafrost or groundwater.
We have already seen the first of the resource wars of the twenty-first century, those played out in Middle East over oil. It’s possible in the future wars may be waged over possession of water. This may not be as far off as one would think: Ethiopia is in the process of constructing a dam over the River Nile—much to the chagrin of Egypt. And there is at least some evidence linking the Syrian migrant crisis of 2015 to a prolonged drought.
So, though it doesn’t seem obvious at first, a lack of water can trigger unrest in areas of national security for the Western powers.
How we, the global community, can prevent the crisis
Education is key, and farmers across the world are already learning about more sustainable ways to raise livestock, in addition to planting drought-resistant crops, turning to drip-irrigation practices and taking measures to capture and store as much rainfall as possible.
It might seem this crisis will disproportionately affect the developing world, but that is not to say the education programmes should end there. On the contrary, it is vital that we take the necessary steps, so that citizens of the developed world learn to understand the importance of water, to respect it, not to waste it and—most importantly, not to take it for granted.
How you can do your bit with Flotec pumps
A perverse flip-side of the global weather conditions coin is that, where some regions are set to endure exacerbating droughts and dryness, other regions will experience more intense rainfall, with flooding being a likely consequence.
Flotec pumps are ideal for dealing with dirty water. Even water that contains large, suspended solids as flood run-off generally does. This makes it ideal for draining pools or ponds overwhelmed with detritus in the flood, as it operates as normal even at fully-submersed depths of up to seven metres. And, as the pressure grows for us to collect and do more with our freshwater, pumps such as this one may play an increasingly important role in the recycling processes.
If this post has interested you, take a look at some of the articles on our blog which further explore the topic of water management, such as how we treat wastewater here and how centrifugal pumps will become increasingly relevant in humankind’s management of the crisis.