4

Today I heard on the radio that only 1 litre of water will be available per person by year 2090. If there is plenty of seawater present on our earth and there are processes like desalination and distillation for making seawater usable/drinkable , then why is it said that there is scarcity of water??

  • 1
    Do you have any more context on what exactly was meant by 1 litre of water per person? Without context, that's not a very meaningful statement. – gerrit Jul 29 '16 at 9:50
  • @gerrit No. But I think that it meant only 1 litre of water will be available per person for daily use whereas the actual requirement is 3.7 litres for males and 2.7 for female. – Jasmeet singh Jul 29 '16 at 10:03
  • 2
    What is your source for those 3.7L / 2.7 L numbers? Humans use far more water than that, considering the full chain into every product they use and consume. – gerrit Jul 29 '16 at 10:11
  • @gerrit I guess that number is only for intake of water through drinking or food. The actual requirement is much more. I am just confused that why is there such scarcity of water if technology exists for using seawater. – Jasmeet singh Jul 29 '16 at 10:48
  • 2
    I fear this question will be very difficult to answer because neither of us knows exactly what was meant. – gerrit Jul 29 '16 at 11:12
6

There is no global scarcity of water.

Some areas have a scarcity of potable water per person.

There are several ways to fix that:

  • Move the people to where there's sufficient potable water for them.
  • Move the potable water to where the people are.
  • Take the water that is where the people are, and make it potable.

Any of these things can be done sustainably. The technology is easy. It's a matter of taking the political decision to do the appropriate allocation of resources.

  • 1
    I haven't looked into it recently, but it seems last I heard, desalination at scale is very costly and energy intensive, and thus not sustainable. What technology for this are you thinking of? – LShaver Jul 30 '16 at 1:18
  • Well, neither cost nor energy intensity say much useful about whether something is sustainable or not. – EnergyNumbers Jul 30 '16 at 6:16
  • True. I guess my question is actually: has desalination gotten cheap enough to be preferred over rerouting rivers and depleting the water table? – LShaver Jul 30 '16 at 7:03
  • In some parts of the world, yes; in others, no. – EnergyNumbers Jul 30 '16 at 9:50
  • 1
    @Jasmeetsingh depletion of a water table is a local issue. A drying-up of a river might be global climate change or local changes. I don't know what it means to say that "water is becoming a non-renewable resource". Maybe it needs more context; but on its own, it's incorrect. – EnergyNumbers Jul 31 '16 at 16:27
-3

Third world populations grew faster than their carrying capacity. Thus, there are water shortages in some areas. There are also cases where one country seizes critical resources from another, e.g. Zionist control of the Jordan River and Golan water sources.

There is no real water shortage in the first world. There is only a shortage in the sense that it costs more money to water your lawn in Arizona.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.