Water scarcity is an issue because of natural geological and hydrological factors. Humans use the commodity for a wide range of activities and one would be hard pressed to find a necessary daily human activity that does not require the use of water. At the same time, water remains naturally scarce because less than 1% of the world's water is available for human consumption. Even so, the sources that are available are at risk due to factors such as pollution and wastage. Seasonal changes also affect the situation since a low water supply likely means an ongoing drought.
In some countries, its natural value becomes a tool of control for those who want to hold onto power. It becomes a source of funds for the mafia. It may seem hard to imagine at first but one needs not look any further than the displacement of people in Greece, who are environmental refugees. They are displaced from their homes, mainly because of a lack of water.
In situations where individuals are forced to purchase water, it becomes a commodity that is almost as valuable, if not more valuable than oil. The water crisis in the Middle East is an example of the dangers of global water wars.
Countries like Israel found solutions by practicing recycling and desalination. They were also able to see results from a public education campaign since awareness of the masses is an important part of inspiring individual action.
In Palestine, the attempted solution involves using storage tanks kept on the roof of houses and sneaking in water through alternate routes in the dead of night where the authorities are not able to restrict it. Their regular water supply is affected by outdated agreements and frequent delays and outages.
The situation between Israel and Palestine with their shared water supply continues to be a point of concern and contention.
Even China, one of the world's most industrialized countries, is not immune from the issues a compromised water supply can cause.
If you are interested in (re)learning about one of nature's most valuable contributions to the world, then you will find this feature interesting.
Directed by: Doug Shultz