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Water Scarcity Problem in Sub-Saharan Africa Coursework

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Updated: May 29th, 2022

Water shortage is a major problem in the world. Ironically, water is the most abundant natural resource in the world. Since the world has water in abundance, it is necessary that more be done to address the shortage of clean water. For instance, just 1% of world water can be accessed. It is necessary that countries focus on harvesting 98% of abundant water. Several studies have been done to explore ways of desalinating seawater for use. However, little has been done to implement it in various parts of the world. Evidently, the cost of desalination has been an obstacle to the proposed utilization of oceanic water (United Nations 1).

Given the high population growth expected in the coming decades, it is important that the world take the issue of water shortage seriously. All along, countries have shown little concern for water-related issues. In fact, Sub-Saharan Africa suffers from the worst water shortage in decades. Moreover, available water sources are not safe for drinking due to pollution. Waste disposal is a major concern in these countries. This has polluted water in the countries, especially in rural areas. Developing countries need to implement ways of collecting water during rainy seasons for use in dry seasons. This can be done by digging dams as water reservoirs. In addition, they need to facilitate water treatment to ensure that people access clean water. In essence, they need to first utilize available water efficiently before exploring ocean water (Web of Creation 1).

Developed worlds have moved ahead in their steps to utilize salty water. In fact, desalination has been tested in Australia, Israel, and the United States, among other countries. Israel is already utilizing desalinated water for its activities. In addition, it has been shown that over time, the cost of desalination reduces. In essence, the world can access safe drinking water for all. The world is facing a water crisis since most rivers either have reduced in density or have turned to seasonal rivers. Water catchment areas have also been exhausted. Still, water tables have started to fall. Research indicates that more than 70% of water is utilized for irrigation. This proves the point that the food supply has contributed greatly to the water shortage. For instance, nearly 40% of grain harvest comes from irrigated land. In essence, this begs the question of whether we are creating a food bubble economy (United Nations 1).

In addition, nearly twenty percent of water is utilized in industries. This leaves just 10% of water for domestic use. It is also estimated that nearly 4.8 billion of water is flushed down the toilet in the United States alone. This shows that efficient water use is still required to help address the water shortages. Moreover, other avenues such as desalination, among others should be considered to relieve pressure on freshwater sources. Water levels in freshwater lakes have seen a tremendous drop. For an instant, Lake Victoria, the second-largest freshwater lake in the world has experienced a significant drop in water levels over the past century. It is necessary that stakeholders consider alternative water sources for both irrigation and industrial use. This would relieve the exhaustion of freshwater sources, which can be treated and used for domestic purposes. A question that may arise is whether desalination can be economically viable for irrigation purposes. Moreover, stakeholders should consider recycling industrial water for irrigation (Web of Creation 1).

Works Cited

United Nations. 2013. Web.

Web of Creation. 2009. Web.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Water Scarcity Problem in Sub-Saharan Africa." May 29, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/water-scarcity-problem-in-sub-saharan-africa/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Water Scarcity Problem in Sub-Saharan Africa'. 29 May.

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