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Ways to Avoid Catastrophic Drought

Water supply has generally reduced in major cities over the years and measures to conserve water need to be implemented to avoid the possibility of a catastrophic drought. The main ways to improve the available water supply are to enhance stormwater harvesting, water reuse, water conservation and seawater desalination. In his TED talk video, David Sedlak explains in detail how each method can be implemented effectively to avoid drought in the future (Sedlak, 2015). These measures will significantly shift water supply towards new, safe, dependable local water sources.

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Stormwater harvesting is one of the most dependable ways of collecting water in cities and well as homes. Safe collection of water requires a gutter system to capture rainwater. The water capturing process should always ensure that hygienic standards are maintained throughout the process (Mortazavi-Naeini et al., 2015). The captured water is then taken through a purification process and stored safely underground. The other process that has proved to increase water supply is water reuse. Water can be reused once it has been treated and is safe for consumption (Sedlak, 2015). Water treatment involves a two-step process where the waste water is taken through a reverse osmosis and advanced oxidation process that will make the water safe for consumption.

The occurrence of a catastrophic water shortage can be reduced by encouraging people to practice water conservation. According to Sedlak (2015), major water misuses occur due to outdoor water activities such as watering vegetation. He suggested that this problem can be solved with the introduction of soil moisture detectors that would help avoid water wastage. The last solution for improving water supply is seawater desalination which has been made 50% more energy efficient than before but still remains to be an expensive process (Sedlak, 2015). Generally, the best ways of improving water supply remain safe water harvesting, water reuse, and water conservation.


Mortazavi-Naeini, M., Kuczera, G., Kiem, A. S., Cui, L., Henley, B., Berghout, B., & Turner, E. (2015). Robust optimization to secure urban bulk water supply against extreme drought and uncertain climate change. Environmental Modelling & Software, 69, 437-451. Web.

Sedlak, D. (2015). 4 ways we can avoid a catastrophic drought [Video]. TED Conferences. Web.

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