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Water Scarcity

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Summary

Six hundred sixty three million people in the world do not have access to clean water,1 and over 2.7 billion people face water shortages for at least one month out of the year.2 Fresh water sources account for less than 3 percent of the world’s water supply, and the majority of earth’s naturally occurring, fresh water is in glaciers — inaccessible to be used for consumption.3 Water usage has increased at twice the rate as that of the world’s population growth.4 The agriculture industry is attributed to 70 percent of the world’s water withdrawal.5 At the current rate, nearly two-thirds of the world could face water shortages by 2025.6 In much of the developing world, clean water is a commodity that requires funding, transportation and physical labor to obtain. Women around the world spend a total of 200 million hours a day traveling to collect water, taking time away from their economic activities and families.7 Fifty percent of those facing water scarcity live in India and China, and 500 million people live in regions where the water supply cannot keep up with the rate of water consumption.8 Though there is sufficient water on the planet to meet the needs of the world population, water distribution, usage, climate and pollution limit the amount of consumable water available from region to region, causing water stress or scarcity. Water scarcity may be caused by a lack of water supply altogether, or a lack of consumable supply due to contamination or salination.9 When there is insufficient water supply for irrigation, certain crops and products can become scarce, causing food shortages in already strained regions.10 Just 2.5 percent of the world’s water is freshwater, and only 0.007 percent of all water is both fresh and available for use.11 An estimated 326,000,000,000,000,000,000 gallons — or 326 quintillions — of water are on the planet, and if just 0.007 percent of that volume is available and fresh, 2,282,000,000,000,000,000 gallons — over 2 quadrillions — of freshwater are readily accessible for human use.1213 Show References
1 https://my.charitywater.org/global-water-crisis 2 http://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/water-scarcity 3 Ibid 4 http://www.unwater.org/water-facts/scarcity/ 5 http://www.un.org/en/sections/issues-depth/water/ 6 http://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/water-scarcity 7 http://water.org/water-crisis/water-facts/water 8 https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000247553 9 http://www.worldwatercouncil.org/en/water-crisis 10 https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=jxANzj_5CksC&oi=fnd&pg=PR5&dq=water+scarcity+and+agriculture&ots=2qMmXoxwZV&sig=hMsKgMM_U1CgXST79dkIa-mkJ9c#v=onepage&q&f=false 11 https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/freshwater-crisis/ 12 https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/earth/geophysics/question157.htm 13 https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/freshwater-crisis/
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