The Water Problem

The water problem is an increasingly serious one.  The accessibility of fresh water is a pressing issue that must be addressed immediately. According to environmental scholars Jay Withgott and Scott Brennan, “Roughly 97.5% of the Earth’s water resides in the oceans and is too salty to drink or use to water crops.” This means that only 2.5% of water is designated as “fresh” and safe to consume. However, most of this fresh water is frozen and therefore inaccessible to humans. Because there is so little fresh water available and almost seven billion humans living on the planet who need that water, this precious resource must be carefully preserved.

Supply and Demand

Biologists and environmental scholars present a number of solutions to the impending fresh water shortage. Desalinization is a prominent but expensive method in which salt is extracted from salt water creating fresh water through the process of condensation. This type of solution would increase fresh water supply.

The foil to a solution that increases supply is a  solution that reduces demand. Although these kinds of solutions are more difficult to implement, they would be the most effective because they confront the root of the problem: excess demand. These solutions include genetic engineering of crops, irrigation methods that minimize wasted water, and the personal consumption of less meat. Fortunately, the United States has already begun the implementation of these conservation practices, but there is always room for improvement.

– Josh Forgét

Source: The Guardian Essential Environment
Photo: Peak Water