Water stress is not really something that most of us living in first world countries know; neither is water scarcity, but it may not be too long before we do. Drinking water is as simple for us as opening the tap, but this is not so for millions of individuals across the globe.
People in developing countries know all too well what water stress and water scarcity are; they do not know the luxury of having a water cooler dispense pure, chilled water; many of them do not even have piped water in their villages, let alone in their homes.
The human body is made up of around 70% water; it is vital that this balance is maintained at all times in order to keep the body hydrated, which is necessary for good health and optimal functionality.
When one understands this, it makes it even more difficult to understand that if this is so, why then are there still in excess of 1.2 BILLION people who lack access to clean drinking water and more than one in six people who are water-stressed.
Water stress means that individuals do not have access to potable (drinking) water, or water for domestic use for a specific period of time, such as during a drought, which could lead to a longer deterioration or even total depletion of available water resources.
Water stress can be caused by Climate change, Over-Population, and/or inefficient management. More than 1 Billion individuals across the globe are water-stressed, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, China, and India.
It is estimated that by 2025 around 66% of the world population may be water stressed, and this figure will rise to 50% by 2030.
Water scarcity involves water crisis, water shortages or deficits, as well as water stress, and occurs when annual water supplies drop below 1,000 cubic metres per person – “absolute scarcity” is when there is less than 500 cubic metres per person. Water scarcity can be either Economic water scarcity, caused by lack of infrastructure, lack of investment in water or lack of human capacity or Physical water scarcity, which occurs as a result of water insufficiency or over-committed resources.
It is estimated that by 2025 around 1.8 Billion individuals will be affected by absolute water scarcity by 2025.