CloudFishersThe U.N. states that a country with less than 1,700 cubic meters of water per person is in a water stress situation. It defines less than 1,000 cubic meters as water scarcity and less than 500 cubic meters as “absolute scarcity.” Morocco currently has around 620 cubic meters per person, setting the stage for a close-up, face-to-face meeting with absolute scarcity. However, an NGO in Morocco, Dar Si Hmad, has taken an innovative approach to tackle water scarcity by installing CloudFishers in rural areas.


Peter Trautwein, a German industrial designer, came up with the project in 2012, and since then, Dar Si Hmad and others worldwide have adopted it. The CloudFisher is a 600 square meters net in humid places that collects water from fog and moist air. The idea originated from ancient traditions of people in the Canary Islands that collected water by digging holes beside mountain trees that would drip water from fog and moist air collection.

The design is a meticulously crafted net structure that blocks fog and collects water. Fog contains water droplets ranging from 1 to 40 micrometers, so the net must be thoughtfully designed and correctly installed to ensure the successful attachment of the droplets. While fog can technically be collected from anywhere, the CloudFisher net has been found to be more efficient in mountainous regions due to the increased amount of water present.

Aït Baâmrane Community

The targeted individuals are mainly Berber or Amazigh tribes in western Morocco who live in nomadic villages bordering the desert. Dr. Aissa Derhem, the president of Dar Si Hmad and a native of Aït Baâmrane, knows the area and the people well. Currently, Dar Si Hmad provides water for five villages and over 90 families, with plans to expand its reach and provide for as many people as possible.

In these villages, it is common for women and children to walk up to 5 kilometers early in the morning to fetch water from wells. These wells are typically insecure water sources as they are open and lack filtering or purifying processes. The water from these wells may be contaminated, posing health risks to the lower class of Morocco and endangering the national economy, as agriculture accounts for about 20% of the GDP.

In rural areas of western Morocco, individuals from villages consume an average of 8 liters of water per person per day. Urban communities, however, use up to 85 liters of water per person per day, more than 10 times the amount of rural areas. The CloudFishers project aims to increase rural water consumption to 30 liters per person per day. Dar Si Hmad has established pipelines to transport water to the villages and reservoirs to store excess water.

The pipelines are monitored and water is filtered, though fog water is completely potable, it ensures water is not contaminated on the way to the reservoir.

Dar Si Hmad, More Than Water Heroes

Apart from the CloudFisher project, Dar Si Hmad also provides the communities with educational programs, including the water school and the functional literacy workshops and empowerment. These two programs target the same beneficiaries as the CloudFishers. The water school, which is supported by the Ministry of Education of Morocco, raises awareness among communities about water scarcity and resource management.

Children get to work with school gardens and learn about the importance of water conservation. The functional literacy workshops and empowerment focus on literary programs for women, who are also beneficiaries of the CloudFishers and empower them through education, taking advantage of the extra time they have after not having to walk hours to get water.

As desertification increases and droughts happen more often, Berber tribes in the west of Morocco are threatened by water shortages and insecurity. Dar Si Hmad is fighting for education, effective water scarcity management and women empowerment in rural Morocco through different educational campaigns and the CloudFisher fog projects. The CloudFisher fog projects’ innovative technology allows rural areas of Morocco to access clean drinking water, therefore boosting the overall welfare of the communities while being an exemplary organization for others worldwide.

– Sebastián Garcés
Photo: Flickr

Water Scarcity in India
Leading alcoholic beverage production company Diageo India is making sustainability a core part of its values. Using innovative technology that turns air into water, Diageo will become the first company of its kind to use sustainably sourced water in its products. Considering the current crisis of water scarcity in India, such practices and others could serve as a necessary model for manufacturing in water-stressed countries.

Water Scarcity in India

India is currently experiencing its worst water crisis to date. A report that the Government of India released this past June revealed that changes to the country’s typical monsoon season and surging exploitation of groundwater are increasing water scarcity at an alarming rate.

The policy commission responsible for the report, the National Institution for Transforming India, estimated 600 million Indians to be living in high to extreme water stress. But this number will likely only grow. By 2030, millions more will face water scarcity in India as the demand for water doubles the actual amount available.

The Indian state of Rajasthan in particular is witnessing the early effects of these recent trends. Of the state’s 302 blocks, 219 are overexploiting their groundwater, according to a usage report that the government released in 2022.

Initiatives such as the National Groundwater Management Improvement Program, or Atal Bhujal Yojana, hope to educate those in the agriculture sector responsible for much of the overuse. The World Bank is supporting the plan, which focuses in part on incentivizing farmers to reduce their use of irrigation systems through equivalent compensation for the energy saved.

SOURCE® Hydropanels

The SOURCE® Hydropanels that Diageo is installing in Rajasthan will operate without electricity, and create water rather than take it. Using patented SOURCE® Hydropanels, fans powered by solar energy draw in air and trap the water vapor within. The condensed water then accumulates in a reservoir to await the addition of minerals that make it ready to drink.

This innovative technology by SOURCE Global, PBC is unlike any the world has seen before. Although invented less than 10 years ago in 2014, Hydropanels are now producing water across the globe in locations like South Africa, the Philippines and the United Arab Emirates. These installations provide water for schools, communities and resorts. SOURCE’s collaboration with Diageo India, however, is the first of its kind.

Diageo India

On November 30, 2022, Diageo India announced its partnership with SOURCE Global. The stewardship initiative aims to install 200 Hydropanels in Alwar, Rajasthan, on a farm of their own building. Within six months of installation, the panels should generate 9,000 liters of water. After a year, that amount should triple to 27,000 liters per month. The water produced will then go into the production of Diageo India’s premium malt whiskey, Godawan.

The partnership is part of Diageo’s Society 2030: Spirit of Progress program. Created just last year, the program exists to ensure the company’s practices align with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By 2026, it aims to replenish more water than water-stressed regions use. Additionally, in 2030, it hopes to use 30% less water in every drink it makes.

Considering Diageo PLC is responsible for the distribution of top alcohol brands including Smirnoff, Ketel One and Captain Morgan, this sustainable mindset has the potential to serve as a model in the production industry. As summarized by SOURCE Global Brand President, Neil Grimmer, “…Diageo India is serving the growing demand for premium, sustainable products in an incredibly unique and powerful way.”

– Rachel Smith
Photo: Pixabay

Water Scarcity
Many know Egypt, which connects Northeastern Africa and the Middle East, for its rivers and pyramids. Although it is rich in culture, Egypt faces a water scarcity issue. According to an article by the African Union Development Agency, Egypt’s Vision 2030 to “increase water supply across the country has primarily focused on enhancing sustainable energy generation and management and enabling innovation and scientific research towards enhancing water supply and distribution.” Technology to address water scarcity in Egypt aims to protect the environment, increase productivity and enhance human health.

The Problem of Egypt’s Water Scarcity

Egypt is currently facing a yearly water deficit of more than 7 billion cubic meters. The problem of insufficient water is further exacerbated by population growth, especially since Egypt’s population is expanding at a pace of 1.94%, equivalent to an annual increase of around 2 million individuals. Today, 92 million people reside in Egypt, marking a 41% increase since the 1990s, and the population will likely exceed 110 million over the next three years.

Recognizing the proportional relationship between population size and freshwater scarcity, this may heavily disrupt freshwater supply within the country. In fact, the Middle East and North African region as a whole, where Egypt is located, holds less than 2% of the world’s fresh water. The Nile river, a vital source of natural and freshwater in Egypt, is increasingly becoming a source of disease, due to the amount of pollution it endures annually. According to the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, 4.5 million tons of pollutants permeate the Nile each year. This includes sewage, agricultural waste and industrial waste.


Egypt has embraced some of the most cutting-edge digital and smart water technologies to address issues pertinent to water scarcity. Through water treatment and desalination, such technologies aim to protect current water sources and bodies, while also boosting water supply. Egypt has created several desalination technologies, to facilitate the transformation of seawater into potable water to enhance water supply. The process of seawater desalination involves evaporating, condensing, and then cooling via the distillation process in that respective order. Through this process, people can use the newly treated water for human consumption and agricultural purposes. Today, Egypt retains a daily freshwater capacity of 800,000 cubic meters in line with 2022 records, and the Egyptian government aspires to achieve 6.4 million cubic meters by 2050.

However, the seawater desalination method traditionally used in Egypt is expensive, as it requires a significant amount of energy. To overcome this issue, Egypt adopted membrane technology to desalinate seawater affordably and cost-effectively. Additionally, such technology can help with several other processes, including pervaporation, reverse osmosis, forward osmosis, nanofiltration and ultrafiltration.

To further enhance the output of water treatment that is possible through membrane technology, and without sacrificing the quality of water, scientists are investigating nanotechnology. Nanotechnology works to increase water permeability and remove pollutants from both wastewater and seawater, while also cost-effectively intensifying water supply output.

A Promising Future

Improving access to clean water remains a top and crucial priority to maintain human welfare in Egypt and the entire African continent. By creating effective water management systems, and boosting water supply through water treatment and desalination, Egypt can effectively address the water shortage. Such endeavors can ease the burden on Egyptians who lack access to clean water, reduce their susceptibility to diseases, and ultimately improve their quality of life.

– Frema Mensah
Photo: Flickr

Water Shortage in FijiWater supply is diminishing worldwide and its distribution is unequal. One in three people in the world lives in countries with insufficient clean water supplies. Hence, the current shortage and disproportionate availability spark conflict, commonly now known as water wars, over the valuable commodity. Scarcity in Fiji is a growing issue despite the exportation of Fiji water to developed nations; wealthier countries are largely removed from the other end of the supply chain and often exacerbate the water shortage in Fiji.

Concurrently, Fiji’s vulnerable economy, unaccommodating legal system and geological positioning are not well-suited to withstand clean freshwater scarcity. More and more, seagrass has proven to be an effective tool for this issue. Pathogen-reducing powers of seagrass help increase the limited availability of clean water for the island’s communities. The expanded harvesting of seagrass helps Fiji fight on the frontlines of the Water War.

Water Scarcity Threatens Stability and the Economy

Water makes up about 71% of Earth’s surface, with 97% oceans and 3% as freshwater. The already relatively small accessible freshwater source has become highly polluted. In 2018, roughly 0.4% of Earth’s water was drinkable and usable and consumption and contamination of water continue to increase globally.

Water wars are taking place because dissent over who should control specific access to water and how it should be distributed has no clear solution in increasingly desperate conditions. Along with this tension, economic growth could rapidly decline. As a result, food and product prices will plunge, consequently creating more instability, according to The Berkey.

The Water Shortage in Fiji

It is reported that 12% percent of Fijians do not have access to clean drinking water while FIJI Water extracts $43.01 million in water sales per year from the country. Fiji could face intensified droughts and rising sea levels over the next several years, inducing new water supply shortages.

Most of Fiji’s infrastructure is not able to withstand natural disasters. Suva, the capital of Fiji, is currently experiencing migration surges that exacerbate the gap between population and reliable resources, according to PreventionWeb.

Land Tenure Convolutes Water-related Conflict

Authority and legal systems in Fiji aggravate water shortage conflicts for the general public. The water supply in Lautoka, Fiji’s second biggest city, is controlled by landowners that charge high prices for water access. In 2003, Qerelevu Hindu School had to shut down because landowners demanded payment for the water supply of the school. The school’s headteacher reported that “Now, without any written order, the landowners are demanding we pay F$5,000 in goodwill and F$1,000 per household to get water. After we informed them that it was impossible for us to pay, as most of the people here cannot afford it, they disconnected the water supply. It’s almost three weeks now”.

Lack of Sanitation

Unlike its translucent reputation in developing countries, Fiji’s water is substantially unsanitary and poses numerous health issues for its residents. Typhoid fever, dysentery, diarrhea, Hepatitis A, gastroenteritis and many other water-transmitted diseases have become abundant in the Fiji Islands. Damaged infrastructure leads to saltwater intrusion and can contaminate wells and freshwater aquifers.

Seagrass as a Solution

Seagrass reduces water pollution and disease. This plant maintains coastal water quality and supports Fijian communities. Through photosynthesis, seagrass removes carbon dioxide from the water, serving to reduce ocean acidification.

In a recent 2022 study, a team led by Fortunato Ascioti, an ecologist at the University of Palermo in Italy, studied the sanitizing property of seagrass. They found that seagrass “could be responsible for a reduction of up to 24 million cases of gastroenteritis per year,” This could save as much as $74 million globally on health care alone.

In Fiji, seagrass also acts as a barrier to weaken waves on shorelines. This protects infrastructure from getting damage and contamination. 

Existing supply and distribution systems in Fiji are no longer capable of satisfying growing demand. Seagrass can alleviate the vulnerability of Fiji’s economy is worsened by diminishing the freshwater supply. Recent research reveals that seagrass sanitizes the sea; Fiji needs solutions to increase clean water availability for its communities, especially in the face of increasing populations in Fiji’s cities and in dealing with conflicts over property rights.

Anna Zawistowski
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Water Scarcity
Multiple factors can cause water scarcity including “collapsed infrastructure, distribution systems, contamination, conflict, poor management of water resources, climate change and human interference” according to UNICEF. Water scarcity is common even in well-developed countries. Water scarcity limits access to clean water used for basic hygiene, cooking and cleaning.

The lack of water resources affects hospitals, homes, restaurants, schools and sewage systems. Additionally, water scarcity takes a toll on the economy because of its high value. However, it affects women and children more than anything. Women and children are the sole providers of water and often walk miles to retrieve it. Therefore, children are spending countless hours outside of school, exposing them to unsafe places and exploitation.

UN-Water Summary Progress Report July 2021

The U.N.-Water Summary Progress Report category of drinking water in 2020 stated that 26% of the global population or 2 billion people, did not have access to clean drinking water services. The sanitation category reported that 3.6 billion people or 46% of the global population lacked sanitation services with 494 million people openly defecating in 2020. Furthermore, 2.3 billion people lacked access to a handwashing system with soap and water in 2020. One final note from the hygiene category detailed that 44% of global wastewater did not receive adequate treatment in 2020.

The 2021 U.N.-Water Summary report also mentioned that there is inadequate research on the safety of our groundwater coming from lakes, rivers, streams, etc. Global water-use efficiency has only improved by 10% since 2015. The water stress category outlined that 2.3 billion people live in water-stressed areas in 2020. In the 2020 integrated-water management category, U.N.-Water detailed how 107 countries are not on track to have achieved sustainable water sources by 2030. From 2015 to 2019, there was only a 9% increase in international cooperation with 14 out of 109 countries participating in water and sanitation decision-making.

UNICEF Water Scarcity Key Facts

  • At least one month every year, 4 billion people, two-thirds of the world’s population, experience severe water scarcity.
  • In countries where water supply is deficient, 2 billion people may experience water shortages.
  • As soon as 2025, half of the global population could potentially reside in areas experiencing water scarcity.
  • In 2030, a proposed 7 million people could face displacement from water scarcity.

UNICEF Water Scarcity Response

While there are many reasons for water shortages, UNICEF is working to provide new technology that reaches countries where people are experiencing water scarcity in seven ways. As a first glance, UNICEF is working to identify new water resources through remote sensing, geographical surveys and field investigations. Also, UNICEF is striving to produce efficient water sources that “reduce water leakage and contamination promoting wastewater reuse for agriculture to protect groundwater.”

Furthermore, UNICEF is planning for future water scarcity needs. For instance, UNICEF is expanding technologies to support water sources that can withstand our changing climate. With this in mind, UNICEF is educating schools and communities on water scarcity. On a larger scale, UNICEF is preparing for “national water needs” for domestic, health and sanitation use. Lastly, UNICEF is “supporting the WASH sector” through creating online programs, technical guidance and manuals to improve standards for accessing water.

Organizations Helping People Reach Clean Water

Due to social and cultural inequality, women and children bear the brunt of water-borne illnesses. Hence, the reason organizations similar to The Water Project and exist. The Water Project has been providing access to clean water to remote villages located in sub-Saharan Africa since 2006. As of May 2022, The Water Project has reached 714,350 people with a 96% water flow status.

For the past 30 years, the founders of, Gary White and Matt Damon, have been offering financial solutions to the global water scarcity issue. It all began in 1990 when Gary White started helping Latin communities impacted by water scarcity. Later in 2003, their WaterCredit Initiative launched which enables to financially assist places affected by water scarcity. In 2009, Matt Damon joined the team as a co-founder. So far, reported having improved 45 million lives across 17 countries with access to clean water.

Looking Ahead

Thanks to the organizations and the dedication of U.N.-Water and UNICEF, water scarcity is becoming less of an issue. Hopefully, this issue will reduce, so that women and children may experience safety, good health and education without having to walk miles for water.

Kaley Anderson
Photo: Flickr