Climate Change will have a dramatic effect on the availability of drinking water, the world over
The knock-on effects of Climate Change on drinking water will not only worsen the situation for people in countries with existing water shortages, but bring the issue of water scarcity to other countries, and especially to cities. Going Green at home is more important than ever.
There are probably a few images that come to mind when you first think of climate change. A loss of land from melting glaciers, or perhaps a rise in the intensity of natural disasters. What you may not realise, however, is that climate change is having a massive impact on the amount of available drinking water across the globe.
Climate Change and Water Scarcity
According to a recent report from the World Bank, climate change is having a serious impact on water scarcity. More specifically, climate change is ensuring that places with too little water will not be solving that issue any time soon.
The report found that by 2050, water scarcity will prevent in-need areas from having access to water, and locations that currently do not have water shortages will likely begin to suffer from water scarcity. Urban areas will be particularly affected, with water availability in cities dropping by two-thirds compared to current levels.
It does not stop there, however. Climate change will continue to raise global temperatures, which will result in more evaporation. More evaporation means less water for farmers during the growing season and will likely result in increased food shortages.
These facts can be surprising, especially because most people are not aware of water scarcity’s relationship to climate change. Here is what you need to know about how it happens.
How Does It Work?
The issue is not that climate change never returns water to the water cycle, but that it redistributes water away from the most in-need areas. The countries that primarily suffer from water scarcity are poor or developing nations without the resources to fix their water issue and can be found across the globe.
Whether it be North Africa, Central Asia, or Central America, many people do not have access to adequate amounts of drinking water. Right now, one-quarter of the human race suffers from water scarcity and, according to the World Bank’s report, that number may double by 2050.
In addition to water redistribution, the better-known aspects of climate change are also contributing to water scarcity. As shorelines rise, more and more coastal aquifers are destroyed by saltwater. This means that there is less drinkable water to go around, even in places that have never had a water issue.
What Can You do?
The entire situation does not have a positive outlook, but that does not mean that there is nothing to do but wait for water scarcity to increase. Certain measures can be taken to help slow and, with enough support, prevent the worsening of the global water crisis.
Did you know that all of the water in your home is purified? From the water used to wash your clothes to your toilet water, it all went through an extensive purification process to make it drinkable, regardless of the fact that you will (hopefully) never be drinking from your toilet. As you might imagine, this is a massive waste of resources and a waste of drinkable water.
The solution? Water recycling. By reusing water, you can significantly cut back on the amount of water that your household uses. Nobody is suggesting that you reuse your old toilet water, but there are some measures that can be taken to help the cause.
- Collect rainwater. This can be used for things like toilets or sprinklers, which do not need purified water to be effective.
- Reuse old water. For example, there is no reason that shower water or dishwater could not be used for toilet water.
- Go green. Recycle, use energy-efficient appliances, the whole nine yards. The best way to do your part in minimising climate change is to reduce your impact on the environment as much as possible. Nobody can prevent climate change single-handedly, but a movement of people making more eco-friendly choices may be enough to avoid the worst aspects of global climate change.
While some of these solutions may require a conversation with a plumber, these are certainly conversations that are worth having. Gray water is something that many contractors are happy to plan for, so do not fear to look into reusing water for your home. It may be vital to someone’s survival.
Ignorance is the most prevalent contributor to climate change and its effects. By staying aware, you will be far better prepared to do your part in not only helping the planet but helping the people that live on it. Stay informed, keep learning about what you can do to help, and you may be able to help stop this issue before it truly begins.