South-Asian water crisis and NAM’s approach to stabilize the dearth

Concern over water scarcity is not a new issue but it has got its due share of public and media importance only in the last 3-4 years because of the frequent changing of climate and the damages it brought upon to agriculture and the people whose lives are dependent upon agriculture. Water scarcity is being driven by two converging phenomena: growing freshwater use and depletion of usable freshwater resources. With the development of technology and industries and new power plants, global demand for water used has been increased by 300% in the last fifty years. World Bank estimated that by 2030, water needed for food production will be increased by 50%. With the growth of biofuel crops, Agricultural crop needs more water supply.

A country is said to experience water stress when annual water supplies drop below 1,700 cubic meters per person. When supplies drop below 1,000 cubic meters per person per year, the country faces water scarcity for all. Population Action International (PAI) estimated that 31 countries, half a billion people, regularly faced rather water stress or water scarcity. In 2025, 48 countries in which about 3 billion people are living will face water shortages. By 2050, 54 countries containing 4 billion people, or 40 per cent of the projected world population of 9.4 billion, will have a shortage of water. In 1999, some 400 of 600 major Chinese cities were suffering from severe water crisis. Of these, 30 cities in northern China, including Beijing, was facing long-term shortages severe enough to limit their economic development. Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Jordan, Palestine, Iran, Yemen, Israel, Oman, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Qatar, Jamaica, Dominica and many more countries are facing water stressed.

NAM in its last two summits has convened a table to discuss the issue which threatens most if its member states. The crisis is serious it states and demands each country to take measures to conserve water through methods of rain water harvesting and planting more trees along with keeping a regular tab on underground water-level so to device measures to replenish them when reaches danger levels. It urges them accordingly distribute water in their particular regions, while educating its masses to not only conserve water but be also able to produce it through various steps to do so.

Most of its states have been on the verge of either water scarcity problem or issues of impure water complicating the matter further. Singapore is facing water stressed problem and the country has no freshwater lakes or aquifers. However, Singapore has managed the water supply and water demand balance in an innovative way. Singapore financed heavily in technology, international agreements, and responsible management, allowing it to meet its freshwater needs. Singapore has developed its rainwater capture system and manages to hold 20% of Singapore’s water supply. 40 percent is imported from Malaysia. These forward-thinking and innovative management plans provide a stable water supply for Singapore’s industrial, agricultural, and domestic users—even in the face of significant baseline water stress.
Santo Domingo is suffering from an acute water shortage due to the ongoing drought. The water level has been remarkably down and to cope with the situation The Santo Domingo Water and Sewer Corporation (CAASD) has ordered to reduce water consumption in the neighborhood by rationing it. Qatar is ranked as the highest water consumer per day which is an average 500 liters water per day. The life-style and country’s punitive climate condition has been proved fatal to the deserted surface of water. Many campaigns have been performed by Nation to make aware of this condition but it meets no advancement. Nation is planning to build a solar-powered plant with the aim of producing 80 percent of its water needs through solar energy.

Desalination plants are an overuse of water resources in the Middle East. 70% of desalination plants in the world are located in this area, found mostly in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain. These Gulf countries are famous as oil export countries that make the climate harsh and may cause of falling level of water. GCC governments have earmarked more than $100 billion in their water sectors between 2011 and 2016 to improve desalination technologies involving solar energy, and maximize on wastewater treatments and recycling. The Arab world is likely to witness a vulnerable water crisis around 2025 unless efficient guiding mechanisms for sustainable water management and measures to reduce the agricultural consumption of water are applied. The UAE has planned several wastewater treatment and recycling projects to improve water management practices in order to meet rising demand of this scarce and costly resource. An important goal of the World Water Assessment Programme, founded in 2000 by Non-aligned movement within the Commission on Sustainable Development, is therefore to assist governments in developing and implementing their national water management plans. Although progress is being made in some areas, such as the recognition of water rights, other needed reforms – such as decentralization – have been slow to come. NAM member countries have adopted several other sustainable strategies to reduce water consumption and wastage as well. Water is crucial for life and so needs much attention from every member country to deal efficiently towards resolving the crisis and also decentralization of water is important to deal with the problem of scarcity.

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