Climate change is causing a water crisis?

Article by Isabel Key and Pia Key.

2 billion people live in countries that are already suffering from water shortages [3]. As the populations of these countries increase, pressure on the supply of water also increases [3]. Climate change makes the situation even worse [3]. This is for a two main reasons:

DROUGHT: climate change is making rainy places more rainy, such as northern Europe [10]. But, what is more worrying is that dry places, such as southern Africa and the Mediterranean, are getting even drier [4,9].

FLOODS: you might think that a lack of water would be your last concern during a flood, but in fact, floods can cause drinking water shortages [1]. This is because floods destroy water supply points and sanitation infrastructure (toilets, pipes, sewage tanks etc. [11]) [1]. Floods can also mean clean water sources get mixed with dirty water [1] or seawater [16], so that the water is no longer safe to drink [1].

What does this mean for people?

POOR HEALTH: lack of water affects people directly through dehydration. In addition, people may be forced to use unclean water that may spread disease [1,13]. Moreover, droughts and floods may cause crops and farm animals to die [2], resulting in people going hungry [3].

MIGRATION: drought often forces people to leave their homes and move to new places [3]. In Syria, for example, multiple years of crop failure caused by drought drove lots of people to move into cities [15]. This is thought to have fuelled the Syrian civil war [15]. As climate change progresses, in dry parts of the Earth 24-700 million people are expected to have to migrate due to lack of water by 2030 [14].

What can we do?

We need better funding and planning of clean water and sanitation [3]. Moreover, we can use nature to help provide clean water [5,12]. For example, restoring grasslands and forests can reduce erosion, improve water quality [6], and store water for when it is needed during drought [7].

References

[1] https://www.unwater.org/water-facts/climate-change/

[2] http://www.fao.org/3/a-i6486e.pdf

[3] https://www.unwater.org/publications/highlights-sdg-6-synthesis-report-2018-on-water-and-sanitation-2/ download report

[4] https://pmm.nasa.gov/resources/faq/how-does-climate-change-affect-precipitation

[5] https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/disasterriskmanagement/brief/nature-based-solutions-cost-effective-approach-for-disaster-risk-and-water-resource-management

[6] https://unesdoc.unesco.org/in/documentViewer.xhtml?v=2.1.196&id=p::usmarcdef_0000261424&file=/in/rest/annotationSVC/DownloadWatermarkedAttachment/attach_import_cc52ca9b-ccc4-4b43-972c-03ee5e29d213%3F_%3D261424eng.pdf&locale=en&multi=true&ark=/ark:/48223/pf0000261424/PDF/261424eng.pdf#%5B%7B%22num%22%3A114%2C%22gen%22%3A0%7D%2C%7B%22name%22%3A%22XYZ%22%7D%2C0%2C842%2C0%5D

[7] https://www.wri.org/blog/2018/03/3-ways-forests-can-solve-worlds-water-crises

[8] https://www.un.org/development/desa/publications/world-population-prospects-2019-highlights.html

[9] https://www.climatehotmap.org/global-warming-effects/drought.html

[10] https://www.climatehotmap.org/global-warming-effects/rain-and-snow.html

[11] https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/sanitation

[12] https://www.naturebasedsolutionsevidence.info/evidence-tool/

[13] https://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/diseases-risks/diseases/diarrhoea/en/

[14] https://img1.wsimg.com/blobby/go/27b53d18-6069-45f7-a1bd-d5a48bc80322/downloads/1c2meuvon_105010.pdf

[15] https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/WCAS-D-13-00059.1

[16] https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/03/4-ways-to-create-clean-drinking-water/

Join our Newsletter!

Impress

Climate Science Ltd
Company Nr: 12370672
Registered in England & Wales
Mail: [email protected]

address

15 Hope Close
Totnes
TQ9 5YD
United Kingdom

Climate Science is registered as a non-profit company limited by guarantee in England and Wales.

Copyright © 2019-2020 Climate Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Climate Science uses Cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.