The natural resource crisis represents a very real threat in the context of climate change. At this point, With the effects of global warming and overpopulation getting more and more obvious, all the major cities around the world are risking the depletion of fresh water reserves, and in a not-so-distant future.
For many people, this situation has already become a reality. Cities like New Delhi, the capital of India, and Santiago, the capital of Chile are just two examples of major urban areas affected by the lack of fresh water.
While 70% of the surface of the earth is covered by water, the percentage of water that is suitable for drinking only amounts to 3%. Furthermore, according to Sky News, the use of water grew two times faster than the increase in the world’s population, putting a great strain on water resources all over the globe.
The water shortage is not only impacting the need people have for their daily use, but also the crops that need irrigation and the industries that rely on water for functioning, such as the production of food & beverages, textiles and paper. According to a new study published on May 5th, 2022 by the American Geophysical Union in the journal Earth’s Future, “agricultural water scarcity is expected to increase in more than 80% of the world’s croplands by 2050”.
The study analyzed the current need for water and attempted to predict if the existing reserves are sufficient to meet the demand, taking into consideration climate change and global warming. And the conclusions were not very encouraging, as, according to Science Daily, “the researchers found that under climate change, global agricultural water scarcity will worsen in up to 84% of croplands, with a loss of water supplies driving scarcity in about 60% of those croplands”.
Is there anything we can do to fix this situation and prevent the anticipated scenarios?
The good news is that there is something we can do. The study also focused on several short and long-term solutions that could help improve the matter, if tackled in time. The solutions that are easier to implement include practices such as mulching and contour farming, while one of the most efficient, longer-term solutions was found to be the improvement of irrigation systems.