Global Water Stress: Solving our most basic need

Sam Jones
30 Sep 2021

4 billion people experience water scarcity at least one month of the year.

2 billion people live in countries experiencing high water stress

844 billion people lack access to a basic, clean drinking water source

700 million people could be displaced by intense water scarcity by 2030

We can help

Which countries face water stress?

17 countries face extremely high water stress – translating to a staggering 25% of the world’s population. Extremely high water stress being defined as more than 80% of available natural water supply being withdrawn each year. The majority of these countries fall in the Middle East and North African regions.

A further 27 countries have a high baseline water stress – meaning more than 40% of their available water supply is withdrawn each year.

These countries have a narrow gap between the supply and demand of their water sources – and water demands are growing year on year.

A prolonged drought, changes in rainfall patterns, interruptions to water supply and global warming all

What is causing water stress?

There are 2 causes of water stress physical and economic.

Physical water scarcity is caused when water sources are unable to meet the demands of a local region. It can be caused by:

Increased consumption – World populations are continuing to increase creating more drain on local water supplies.

Climate change – Climate change is making the world warmer and the hottest regions in the world.  At the same time, ‘Hadley Cell expansion’ [1], a climate-change driven phenomenon is causing clouds to move away from the equator toward the poles. This deprives equatorial regions like sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Central America of rainfall.

Overuse or wastage – Inefficient agricultural practices and water intensive industrial processes such as flood irrigation, thermal power plants and manufacturing consume more water than necessary whilst polluting availbale water sources, without adequate cleaning soltuions. As much as 80% of the world’s wastewater is discharged back into local environments without cleaning or treatment – rendering it unfit for human consumption.

Economic water scarcity is caused when adequate infrastructure and monetary means to mobilise water creates waters scarcity. A lack of infrastructure is often the primary cause with insufficient means to transport, store and distribute clean water to where it is needed most.

What are the solutions?

From data and current projections existing water sources are not sufficient to match the world’s growing demands for water.

The good news is that water scarcity is a solvable problem thanks to rapid advances in technology and infrastructure offering sustainable solutions. A holistic system encompassing increased capture, demand and supply side management and technology can help all countries become net generators of water.

The solutions are

Waste water reclamation – Improving technology and infrastructure throughout industrial and domestic to turn wastewater into drinking water or reuse water sources for agriculture.

Water storage solutions – Improving water storage infrastructure to increase water reserves in high risk areas.

Technology solutions – Our atmospheric water generators allow countries to generate an infinite supply of fresh, clean drinking water from humidity. Able to produce millions of litres of water a day atmospheric water generators provide a low cost of generation compared to competing technologies such as desalination.

Contact us today to find out more or to book a demonstration