A recent article by the Epoch Times reveals that achieving universal access to safe water by 2030 (a U.N. Sustainable Development Goal) will require in excess of $1.7 trillion. This is according to the World Bank.
The World Resource Institute estimates that by 2025 two-thirds of the world’s population will live in water-stressed areas, concentrated in the Middle East, North Africa, and western Asia.
Are we running out of time? It is clear that the world needs significant investment in water in numerous key areas of the global water crisis.
The Epoch Times article looks at three key areas — United States, the Middle East, and China — to show the range of challenges.
- America is simultaneously water-rich and experiencing prolonged drought. Cases of contaminated drinking water are increasing, as are tensions with neighbors over shared water resources.
- China, the world’s most populous nation, is also the world’s worst water polluter. Most of its water is contaminated and unsuitable for any use. No wonder China is one of the most water-stressed countries in the world. It has a fifth of the world’s population, but less than 7 percent of its fresh water.
- The Middle East has yet to see a war fought explicitly over water, but water scarcity has aggravated other factors leading to conflict. Water scarcity is now recognized as a key contributor to the war in Syria and will almost certainly create more conflict and more water refugees. Eight out of the 10 most “water-stressed” countries in the world are in the Middle East.
For outsiders, Middle East issues seem to swirl around war, oil, and human rights. Inside the region, it’s known that water is just as key to stability and prosperity. This is now true for every country in the world.
Some say water is the new oil. But unlike oil, water is essential for survival.
A deep dive into the planet’s water situation reveals that in the coming decades, every country will have to determine how to treat water as an economic good, a human right, and a depleting resource.
Follow the link above to read the full article.