Water Crisis

March 27, 2017

Last March 22nd was World Water Day. It’s being celebrated to remind us of the value of water and to spread awareness about the need to conserve water due to impending water problems worldwide. According to Water.org, the amount of safe water in the world could drop by as much as 40% in just 15 years if people do not change the way they use water. Doesn’t that in any way scare you? It scares me!

I think that water and the approaching water crisis is an important thing that we all need to be aware of. It’s easily taken for granted by people like you and me who have access to safe and potable water every day but for the 1.8 billion people worldwide who lack access to safe water, this is already very real. We tend to complain when there are issues with our water service because we find it so difficult to go through our everyday lives without water but we never stop to think about those people who are already living that kind of life daily.

water from faucet
Photo Credit: 334508 from Pixabay

Some Facts

Without access to safe water, 840,000 people die from water-related disease every year and one child dies every 90 seconds because of this. A third of people worldwide still lack access to a toilet! There are also women and children who spend house collected fresh water every day for as much as six hours per day. It’s hard to imagine when we live with water easily accessible from our faucets but it is still a very real occurrence in many parts of the world, including the Philippines. I can tell you from experience when we had issues with our water service and had to gather water from a hand pump for just a few days that it was a very difficult experience. I can’t imagine having to do that daily…nor do I want to imagine doing it again in the future – or not having water at all.

In the country alone, 8 out of 101 million Filipinos do not have access to safe water. There are 520,000 cases of waterborne diseases on record every year and 55 Filipinos die daily from these diseases. The need for clean water is a very real issue.

It’s a misconception that because we are surrounded by water this means that we do not have any problems with water shortage. In fact, only about 3% of the water in the world is drinkable. Access to fresh water is something that not many people enjoy.

According to the Asian Development Bank’s study, the Philippines will most likely face shortages of water for drinking, sanitation, agriculture and industry within the next ten years unless something is done about it. While efforts are being done to slow down this problem, the demand of water projected to rise due to a growing population as well as agricultural and industrial needs means that water supply is still a major issue that needs to be managed properly.

I remember reading a study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency that said that by 2025 would be the start of a major water crisis for the country. That is less than a decade away. It’s alarming to find out that with the latest available data on water resources it has been predicted that the crisis will happen sooner than 2025. Can you imagine living a life without the water you enjoy daily? To have it rationed and not have enough than what you’re used to? It’s a terrifying thought.

Time to Get to Work

People might blame climate change for the shortage in water since rising temperatures and droughts in the country have caused water sources to dry up more than usual. But then what is the cause of climate change? It’s still us, right? It’s how we live our lives. It’s the pollution and the waste we produce. It’s time for all of us to make changes.

Something as simple as repairing leaks in your home or reporting leaks in your neighborhood can help save water. If we all do something as simple as that, the unified effort can already make a big difference.

I’ve learned that local governments are now mandated to have set rules and regulations for sewerage and septage management in their cities and municipalities. This is a big step in the right direction. According to Time, 80% of all waste water is not used again, even if can partly help with water shortages by recycling it and returning it to the ecosystem. Proper sewerage and septage management can help with that.

Fingers Crossed

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the world can be made aware of the impending world water crisis and that people can all do their part to help to slow it down or stop it from happening altogether. It’s not enough that we make people aware, we also have to do our part. We need to start learning about the things we can do to save water and actually do it. We need to help in conserving our water resources by helping save the environment.

Let’s hope that 2025 doesn’t mean a major crisis for us here in the Philippines. Let’s hope that we will all sigh in relief that the predicted crisis did not happen because we were all able to do something just in time to save it the country from it.


Facts Sourced from:

Rappler
Rappler Move PH
Manila Times
Time
Water.Org

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