Water shortage is a situation where the available water cannot meet the demands of the population sufficiently. With the continued rise of the population and industrialization, there is much pressure on water sources to serve the growing needs of the people. The rise in demand for water has led to water scarcity due to high usage rates of this natural resource. But because water is a basic commodity for all organisms, the current water scarcity is at the moment one of the potential sources of conflict in the world today (Pereira et al., 20).
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So far, humans have exhausted all the natural water sources available, including aquifers, yet most countries have not been able to develop methods of recycling water.
Effects of global warming have also led to a change in climate change leading to drought and hunger. Due to change in weather patterns, rivers and lakes have dried up leading to the water crisis, which has eventually created other problems since human depend on water for economic and domestic uses. Today, people are forced to move long distances in search of water, which is a basic commodity.
Water shortage has led to regional and community conflicts when people fight over control of the water sources leading to deaths and displacement of people from their areas of settlement. Ethnic fights, political interference, and conflicts in many parts of the world have led to the emergence of economic, social, psychological, and structural issues. Ethnic and religious tensions over depleting resources have been accompanied by competition and political conflicts between different communities (Filho, 14).
As such, governments have obligations to protect its population against any emerging issues that arise due to water shortage (Marsalek, 8).
It has been observed that water shortage contributes more problems than just drought and hunger; the government should, therefore, undertake strategies to address the same considering the great implication that water shortage can have in an economy (Weaver, 8). The government can help solve the issue of water shortage by creating awareness on water recycling, protecting existing water bodies, and doing desalination to have more clean water.
There is a need to solve the water shortage problem as a matter of urgency because of the following reasons. Firstly, water recycling will prevent the outbreak of water-related conflicts and deaths, which is usually caused by the struggle of water shortage (Weaver, 23). Secondly, constant food supply that is largely dependent on the water will be sustained, thereby eliminating hunger and starvation that leads to deaths and stagnation of economic progress of a country.
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Thirdly, social problems associated with lack of water as well as psychological impacts can be solved by giving people access to potable water (Pereira et al., 43). It is the role of the government to make the economy of a country stable by making its population self-sufficient; water recycling ensures that the existing water sources are well protected. Finally, the government has a responsibility of protecting human rights that include access to clean and safe water as espoused in the MDG goals (Filho, 20).
Different countries face varying challenges in as far as the provision of clean water to its population is concerned depending on its economic development level and geographic location.
Notwithstanding this, any government must provide access to clean water to its citizens, and this is best achieved when awareness of water recycling is emphasized. It is thus the recommendation of this paper that water recycling is every government priority to ensure safe and clean water. Once access to clean water is achievable economic, social, and political stability will also be guaranteed.
Filho, Leah. The Economic, Social and Political Elements of Climate Change. Berlin: Springer, 2010. Print.
Marsalek, Jiri. Urban water cycle processes and interactions. New York: Taylor and Francis, 2008. Print.
Pereira, Santos., Cordery, Ian., & Lacovides, Lacovos. Coping with Water Scarcity: Addressing the Challenges. Berlin: Springer, 2009. Print.
Weaver, Alex. Exploring sustainability science: a southern African perspective.Johanesburg: African Sun Media, 2008. Print.