Some experts were devising novel methods to save our water supply. However, much more work is required. It may seem strange to speak of water as having a “future,” as it is a resource that many of us take for granted, but climate change is threatening the safety and security of our global water supply. This scarcity is already a daily reality for a staggering proportion of the world’s population: 1 in 10 people now lack access to this basic resource.
While the health consequences of inadequate access to safe drinking water are obvious, some of the less obvious consequences can be more difficult to recognize. Water access affects everything from economic growth to gender equality to educational access. Water scarcity is a major hurdle to development in many developing countries.
About Water Crisis
Although the specific effects of the global water crisis vary depending on geographical, economic, and social situations, there are a few basic elements to be aware of. One is that, for the most part, the countries that contribute the least to the crisis will bear the brunt of its consequences. Consider Nepal: although contributing less than 0.01% of global greenhouse gas emissions, it has already begun to face the burden of climate change’s harshest consequences. The country has seen more flash floods and strong, irregular rainfall than typical, inflicting damage to essential infrastructure that has impacted all aspects of society.
What is notable is that in Nepal, like in many other developing nations, water scarcity has disproportionately impacted women and girls, who are frequently tasked with fetching fresh water from natural springs. This is a difficult and time-consuming task in and of itself, but it has been made significantly more difficult by the drying up of numerous springs along the Hindu Kush, a byproduct of warming temperatures increasing water evaporation and disrupting regular seasonal rainfall patterns in the form of more sporadic and intense precipitation. The additional time spent obtaining this fundamental resource has made it much more difficult for many of these women and girls to obtain an education or seek a career, sustaining the country’s poverty cycle.
What Can We Contribute
There are numerous options for those who want to make a significant impact in the lives of those who are currently experiencing the severe effects of climate change, as well as protect future generations from confronting them. Consider contributing to educational programs in addition to investing in or donating to projects that directly provide disadvantaged communities with access to clean water. Quality education can help raise climate awareness and empower young people in these places to become leaders of tomorrow’s climate movements. Because the most profound innovations generally originate from those who are most directly connected with the issues, expanding educational programs, particularly those focusing on women, can have long-term good effects.