The World Economic Forum has released its Global Risk Report for 2019. What has the report found regarding global access to clean water? How likely is a water crisis and what can we do to reduce the impact, both at home and on a wider scale? We take a brief look at the major causes and simple solutions.
The Global Risks Report looks at a wide range of risks to our world, including weather, war, disease and recession. According to the report, a water crisis has been given a high likelihood and high impact rating. In fact, of the 30 risks assessed, a water crisis falls within the top ten for likelihood and the top five for impact.
The current threat of various water crises means that clean drinking water is in limited supply. Even as it stands, 1 in 10 people do not have access to clean drinking water. This adversely affects developing countries where women and girls haul water for miles every day and where 800 children die each day from preventable diarrhea.
Water crises are caused by a number of factors including climate change, population growth, general water waste, poor infrastructure, the demolition of ecosystems and with rising sea levels, the threat of contaminated groundwater. Some researchers even trace the current global water crisis back to the industrial revolution and consequential water shortages. There are no two ways about it, something needs to change.
Water Saving Tips
Averting the water crisis, or reducing its impact, requires global cooperation. Everyone has their part to play from big business to NGOs, politicians and even individual households. There are numerous ways in which you can reduce the amount of water you use in the home. Start by asking your water provider to fit a water meter. This way, you only pay for the water you use, which will encourage you to use less water.
Always use the eco-option on your washing machine and try to have showers rather than baths. Far too much water simply disappears down the toilet. Encourage your family not to flush unless solids are involved. Also consider installing water-saving pumps and accessories to your existing appliances and systems. A grey water pump, for example, will direct wastewater from the bath, sink and appliances such as your dishwasher and pump it into your toilet or outdoor water butt.
Circulating pumps can also drastically reduce your water usage, as can the latest energy-efficient central heating pumps. Consider buying a water butt to collect rainwater which can then be used to water your garden. There are so many ways in which you can reduce water waste in the home but it requires collaboration from everyone in the household.
Of all the contributing factors to the water crisis, water wastage is one that UK households can start working on straight away. You can also pressure the Government and businesses through your purchasing power and with petitions, in addition to donating to international water and development charities.