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Water Shortages in the World Essay

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Updated: May 17th, 2019


Water is a significant resource in human life. This is mainly because it helps to sustain life. It is also important to note that water supports plants, animals and other living organisms. Its supply is therefore necessary at all times. The world is home to about six billion people.

However, about two billion of which face constant water shortage. Consequently, a number of researches have been conducted to establish its availability throughout the world. As a result, it was found that water crisis is a common problem in developing countries. This paper will try to establish differences in water shortage between developed and developing worlds (Resnick 1).

Availability in developed countries

Developed countries have few instances of water shortage. In fact, floods have been more prevalent in these regions than water shortage. According to statistics from World Bank, over 80 countries face water shortage. Moreover, it records that over two billion people lack clean water. However, developed countries like the U.S. rarely face water shortage issues.

In fact, they have well organized water and sewage agencies that ensure every state is well supplied with water. Their only problems come in inter state feuds concerning water, accidental occurrence like oil spillage and flooding. These are sometimes unexpected although the country has put in place management strategies that forecast and attend to such issues.

Even developed countries in deserts have water because they invest in water conservation and treatment. This is witnessed in Israel and Libya, as well as Australia. Nonetheless, it is important to note that concerns are rising even in developed countries on water shortage. This is expected to escalate in the next century (Resnick 1).

Availability in developing countries

Developing countries face several issues in relation to water. For instance, countries that have water face difficulties in managing its supply. Moreover, provision of clean water is a challenge to these nations. To make matters worse, countries that experience water shortage suffer from accelerating desertification.

This, combined with their inability to conserve and manage available water has led to massive loss of life in affected areas. For instance, countries in the horn of Africa face recurrent famine each year and nothing is usually done to prevent such occurrences from happening. Kenya for example has faced massive loss of lives due to famine in the North Eastern region.

Interestingly, response to such devastating hazards is usually slow and inadequate. Instead of solving the issue, they usually provide short-term solutions. This has continued to destroy lives in developing countries, which languish in poverty, violence and corruption, among others (Resnick 1).


Several differences exist between water shortage in developing and developed countries. Firstly, it is important to note that all countries are dispersed randomly in the world. Therefore, it would by unrealistic to say that developed worlds chose areas where water is available in abundance. In essence, developed countries have strategic policies and resources that ensure clean water is availed to every household.

On the other hand, developing countries lack skills, resources and policies that can ensure water is availed to every household. Actually, water shortage in crucial areas like health centers and schools is quite prevalent in developing countries. While water shortages in developed countries are resolved quickly, those of developing countries result in national disasters.

While developed world take full initiative in conserving water catchment areas, developing countries put little effort. Management of water supply in developing countries is poor as compared to that of developed world. In addition, pollution of water in developing countries is quite prevalent as compared to that of developed world (Resnick 1).

Challenges of maintaining fresh water resources

Scientists are estimating a global water crisis in the next century. This is due to several reasons. Firstly, global warming is causing climate change, which has affected the whole world. This is concerning weather prediction for planning purposes and increasing desertification, which increase disasters such as famine and drought. Besides, change in climate affects all parts of the world, which therefore experience unpredictable weather.

Other causes of water shortage include pollution of rivers and lakes, deforestation and poor planning on water conservation methods, among others. Countries therefore face great challenges in maintaining clean and fresh water for consumption.

One of the challenges includes water feuds between bordering countries like Israel and Syria. Egypt has also had problems with its neighbors over river Nile. Moreover, water agencies in poor countries are facing an uphill task in supplying clean water for consumption due to increased desertification, corruption, poor planning and increasing pollution (Resnick 1).

How rich countries deal with scarcity

Americans use a lot of water; in fact, statistics from CBS News averaged it at 150 gallons on a daily basis. This is far more than the British who use about 40 gallons daily. At this rate and expected increase in population to 9 billion, developed countries must find ways of addressing global water shortage. Interestingly, more water feuds between States have been witnessed in recent times.

For instance, Georgia has had a court issues with Atlanta concerning Lake Lanier. In addition, Las Vegas’ only source of water, Lake Mead is receding.

Developed countries have intensified water conservation methods. For instance, Israel recycles sewage water for drinking. Moreover, these countries are working to conserve environment in order to reduce water pollution. Another activity that takes place is effective use of water (“Water Shortage!” 1).

How poor countries deal with scarcity

Poor countries have an uphill task of providing clean and fresh water to their ever-increasing population. In addition, they face the risk of being overwhelmed by occurrences of water shortage and sanitation. Their disaster preparedness has been wanting. This has led to massive loss of lives as in Northern Kenya and Uganda, among other Sub-Saharan States.

However, most agencies dealing with water supply and management are trying to explore alternative water sources such as ground and rainwater, among others. For instance, Kenya’s Ministry of water has drilled several boreholes in its Northern region to help salvage people and animals from famine.

Moreover, they have taken the initiative of curbing pollution of rivers and lakes by industrial wastes. They have also stepped up efforts to promote environmental conservation through tree planting, investing on renewable energy and safe disposal of waste (“Global Water Shortage Looms In New Century” 1).

Reasons for water shortage

Availability of fresh water is becoming an issue even to developed nations. This is mainly due to the following reasons. Demand for water is increasing with increasing population and living standards. This is expected to exceed supply when population reaches 9 billion. Global warming has led to unpredictable weather; this change in climate is causing desertification in various parts of the world like China, Texas and sub-Saharan Africa.

Pollution of rivers and lakes by industrial wastes and human activities is another reason for shortage of water. Neglect of water catchment areas through deforestation and mining has also caused water shortage. In addition, poor management and usage of water has decreased its supply (Kaminsky 1).

Possible solutions

Firstly, the world needs to be educated on wise usage of water. This will help in water conservation. Moreover, Industrial wastes should be treated before it is drained into rivers or lakes. This will help to conserve aquatic life as well as improve water and environmental conservation. Environmental conservation is also vital in reducing global warming, which affects climate patterns.

This will reduce the number of natural calamities such as drought and famine. Proper management of water supply should be ensured to avoid spillage and contamination, which may infect people with water borne diseases. Furthermore, efforts should be made to find alternative sources of water like ground water, rainwater, among others (Resnick 1).


Water is very vital in human life. It is also a basic requirement for both plants and animals. Its conservation is therefore necessary for continued living. It has been noted in the recent past that water shortage is encroaching this world. This is mainly because of global warming, poor management, wastage, drought, pollution and deforestation, among others.

Indications from statistics show that global water shortage is looming. It is therefore very essential that relevant stakeholders carry out necessary tasks to minimize its effects on life. This can only be done through collective initiative and participation from everyone in environmental conservation, among others (Ayre 1).

Works Cited

“Global Water Shortage Looms In New Century”. ag.arizona.edu. 6 Dec. 2011. Web.

theeconomiccollapseblog.com. TEC, 22 July 2010. Web.

Ayre, Maggie. . BBC News. BBC News, 3 May 2007. Web.

Kaminsky, Jay. Supply and Demand: whyfiles.org. Why Files, 22 Dec. 2006. Web.

Resnick, Mitchel, and Silverman Brian. A global Shortage: . whyfiles.org. Why Files, 22 Dec. 2006. Web.

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IvyPanda. "Water Shortages in the World." May 17, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/water-shortages-essay/.


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