Places around the world running out of water


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With surging populations, the world is coping with the increased demand for water. A rapidly urbanizing population further strains the water supply. A report by the World Resources Institute ranks countries that face a high risk of their water resources running out by 2040. We take a look at some of these places that might run out of water soon.


Central Asia’s largest nation has scarce amounts of water and around 50 percent of the population consumes poor quality drinking water that fails to meet international standards. Inefficient agricultural practices have worsened the situation as crop yield continues to go down without a decrease in the amount of water being used. The region’s largest lake, the Aral Sea (pictured) has also been rapidly shrinking, impacting the region’s fresh water supply.


A serious gap between the demand and supply of water and the deterioration of the quality of water have led to widespread water shortages in the country. Current bodies of water are also being polluted by industrial and urban waste.


Due to climate change, water supply is expected to be reduced 23 percent from 2021 to 2050.


Decreasing rainfall has led to the country’s groundwater and rivers not being replenished. Water level in the rivers has fallen and the eastern part of the country faces frequent droughts. Around 40 percent of the water is currently used for irrigation and that amount is also predicted to increase.


The ongoing civil war has affected the country’s water situation with various reports stating the capital Sana’a will run out of water as soon as 2017. Only 40 percent of the households in the city are connected to the municipal water supply and they get water maybe twice a week. The country doesn’t harvest rainwater and they currently rely on dwindling groundwater supplies.


Around 90 percent of the country is desert and the groundwater recharge rate is one-fourth the rate of consumption. The country has also expanded agricultural activity by planting water intensive crops and is not reusing its treated wastewater properly.


The cost of water in the country has gone up 30 percent in the last decade due to a shortage of groundwater. Jordan is the third driest country in the world and much of the country’s water network is aging. They have no water resources other than underground aquifers. The influx of Syrian refugees in the country has worsened the situation.


A soaring population and the desert are Iran’s main causes for water shortage. Droughts are an annual occurrence and there is a lack of storage dams. There is poor wastewater management that is further polluting their sparse water resources. Lake Urmia (pictured), once the largest lake in the region, has also shrunk to 10 percent of its size because of dams, increasing the salinity of the lake.


Despite being home to 6,500 glaciers and around 2,000 lakes, Kyrgyzstan still faces water shortages due to the poor maintenance of its Soviet era plumbing and water supply systems. In addition, the rural population is greater than the urban population and they are highly dependent on water-intensive activities like agriculture.


A large part of the country only gets water for a few hours daily with many also resorting to bottled water and tankers for their daily needs. The country has mismanaged its water resources and has failed to provide for their growing population.

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