Freshwater is Essential, Fight Scarcity

In the world in general, the earth’s surface is 71% covered by water that is mostly salty which leaves the question of freshwater scarcity and availability.

Fresh water available is only at 2.5% of which most of it is hardly accessible nor available for human use hence challenges in access to fresh water within the world.

The vast majority of freshwater is stored in underground aquifers, and only a small fraction is found in lakes, rivers, and other surface water sources.

It is also important to note that the distribution of freshwater is not uniform around the world, and some regions face severe water scarcity and drought.

According to the United Nations, the total volume of freshwater available for human use is about 42,880 cubic kilometers (10,325 cubic miles) per year. However, this estimate varies depending on how “freshwater” is defined and how it is calculated.

For example, much of the freshwater is stored in glaciers, underground, and ice caps, which are not readily available for use. Additionally, some freshwater sources may be contaminated or located in areas that are difficult to access.

This is a relatively small fraction of the total amount of fresh water on the planet and highlights the importance of managing and conserving this resource. This includes water stored in glaciers, lakes, rivers, underground aquifers, and in the atmosphere as water vapor.

How to Increase the availability of freshwater

Increasing fresh water is a complex issue that requires a combination of approaches at different levels, including global, national, and local. Some of the ways to increase freshwater availability are:

Conservation: Conserving water through efficient use and management can help to reduce demand and save water for other uses. This can include measures such as fixing leaks, using water-saving appliances, and adopting sustainable agricultural practices.

Recycling and reuse: Treating and recycling wastewater for non-potable uses such as irrigation, industrial processes, or groundwater recharge can help to increase the availability of water.

Rainwater harvesting: Collecting and storing rainwater can be a valuable source of freshwater, particularly in regions with high rainfall.

Desalination: Removing salt from seawater or brackish water through desalination processes can provide a new source of freshwater.

Sustainable groundwater management: Proper management of groundwater resources through measures such as recharge, artificial groundwater replenishment, and regulation of extraction can help to maintain the availability of freshwater.

Restoration and protection of natural ecosystems: Restoring and protecting natural ecosystems such as wetlands, forests, and river basins can help to maintain the natural water cycle and increase the availability of freshwater.

Investment in water infrastructure: Investing in water infrastructure such as dams, reservoirs, and water treatment facilities can help to increase the availability of freshwater in a sustainable manner.

The need to increase the availability of fresh water is urgent yet requires a combination of approaches that focus on the conservation, reuse, and management of existing resources, as well as the development of new sources of water.

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