Water, the source of life, is increasingly becoming a scarce commodity. As we navigate through 2023, the threat of a global water crisis looms large. With billions of people worldwide experiencing water shortages, the need for immediate action is more pressing than ever.
Understanding the Crisis:
The UN World Water Development Report 2023 warns of the imminent risk of a global water crisis. Currently, between two and three billion people experience water shortages, and these numbers are set to increase, especially in urban areas, if international cooperation is not ramped up.
At this moment, 2 billion people (26% of the world population) do not have access to safe drinking water, and 3.6 billion (46%) lack access to safely managed sanitation. The projection is that the global urban population facing water scarcity will double from 930 million in 2016 to 1.7–2.4 billion people by 2050. The growing incidence of extreme and prolonged droughts is also stressing ecosystems, with severe consequences for plant and animal species1.
The Role of International Cooperation:
International cooperation is key to preventing this crisis from spiraling out of control. Water-related interventions, from growing crops to providing safe and affordable water to cities and rural areas, all require some form of cooperation. Yet, of the world’s 468 internationally shared aquifers, only 6 are subject to a formal cooperative agreement1.
Boosting international cooperation over how water is used and managed can avert a global water crisis. It can open additional diplomatic channels and deliver benefits beyond water security.
The Power of Partnerships and Participation:
To combat water scarcity, the involvement of partnerships and people is crucial. Shared benefits, including pollution control and biodiversity, along with data/information-sharing and co-financing opportunities, can result from such cooperation.
One successful example is the Monterrey Water Fund in Mexico, launched in 2013, which has improved water quality, reduced flooding, and rehabilitated natural habitats through co-financing. Similarly, the Tana-Nairobi river watershed, supplying 95% of Nairobi’s freshwater and 50% of Kenya’s electricity, illustrates the global potential of such partnerships.
The water crisis is a global issue that requires our urgent attention. As we move through 2023, we need to focus on bolstering international cooperation, encouraging partnerships, and promoting inclusive participation in water management. Only then can we secure a sustainable water future for all, take a look at our air water generators solutions: the way out of this crisis, generating water from air.