Water Scarcity

Topics: Water, Water resources, Drinking water, Water crisis / Pages: 6 (1462 words) / Published: Oct 25th, 2013
The Water We Take for Granted Imagine living in a world without the luxury of running water. Almost all Americans take their access to water for granted every single day. In an average day water is used for bathing, cooking, washing clothes, removing bodily wastes and many other functions. The average water use per person per day in the United States is an amazing 550 liters. That is 145 gallons. However, there is a multitude of people across the globe that do not have this kind of access to water. Billions of people around the world have to survive on less than 50 liters, or 13 gallons, each day. And in almost all cases, this water is not readily available; it requires long hours of travel and transportation to get water to use (Chartres and Varma 5). Water scarcity is a huge problem throughout the world and it is only growing. To gain a better understanding of this problem we need to take a look at the causes of water scarcity, the problems it creates, and proposed solutions to reverse this growing dilemma. Water scarcity can be caused by a long list of phenomena. Some of these things are created by natural causes, others by man-made activities, or they can be the result from the interaction of the two. One natural cause of water scarcity is aridity. Arid climates, due mostly to low annual precipitation, create permanent imbalances in water supply in certain regions (Cordery, Iacovides, and Pereira 9). A primary example of an arid climate stricken with water scarcity is the northern half of the African continent. In this area, fourteen different countries have 85% or above of their land surfaces in zones of extremely little rainfall (Falkenmark and Lindh 63). Another type of natural water scarcity is drought. Drought is commonly associated with arid climates and they are usually found in close proximity to one another. Furthermore, drought is cause by an unpredictable amount and an uncertain duration of annual rainfall (Cordery, Iacovides,

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