Water, as we understand it, is the most important resource for the human race. It provides the ability for humans to survive, for crops to grow, for humans to clean (you get the picture), but with current research showing that the world has a real liquidity crisis, its time to act!
Politicians are populists and therefore shy away from unpopular topics such as climate change and water shortages, which although seems extremely worrying, is in fact not surprising. For action to happen, governments would have to radically change the way water is used/consumed in countries and with humans being creatures of habit, you can see why it's been missing from the lips of world leaders.
The problem we face is that heads of states around the world have short-term views regarding environmental issues, therefore are always looking for a quick interim solution while they serve office and leaving the bigger issue or 'the elephant in the room' to the next leader or government minister.
"Nothing is more useful then water", stated by Adam Smith, an 18th Century economist, but "scarcely anything can be had in exchange for it." The father of free-market economics noted this paradox in Scotland, as rain-sodden and damp then as it is today. Where water is in ample supply his words still hold true yet around the world billions of people already struggle during dry seasons and increasingly all year around.
Drought and deluge are a costly threat in many countries and not just the poor one's as you'd assume. This may come as a surprise but Italy, the food power house of Europe, currently are faced with a situation of 32% of the country, as stated in a recent Environmental United Nations report, not being able to sustainable meet their water supply demands for the whole year. Due to this, during some months of the year, mainly dry months, the Italian government have imposed water restrictions, mainly in southern parts of the country.
Globally, therefore countries are facing a very real crisis that is missing from news headlines and frankly; if water is not managed better today's crisis will become a catastrophe. By the middle of the century, according to 122 leading scientists globally, half of the planet, well 50.4% of the planet to be exact, is predicted to be living in areas of "water stress", where supplies cannot sustainable meet demand. The scientists go on to predict lush crops turning into barren deserts and as a result causing millions to flee in search of fresh water.
This desperate escape to find water sources would cause a mass shift of migration from arid to semi-arid climates, on top of no doubt on-going civil wars in parts of the world, and a growing hope for a better life for citizens left behind in developing countries, would cause a very concerning global migration issue.
This issue would ultimately result in countries that store higher water reserves being in-dated with migrants from all parts of the world, creating stress and tension for the countries faced with these people. If you think this sounds extremely dramatic, last year, the New York Times stated that over 114,000 Asians & Africans migrated to European countries from January 2015 to April 2016 and when 86% of these migrants were questioned by both the Times and government officials, the primary basis of them migrating was due to lack of access to water.
This issue, is therefore real and it strikes me that the general narrative of the discussion always turns into how leading nations "will deal with it at some point" as seen in leaked memos from the French environmental conferences just last year.
Frankly, this issue is something that needs be addressed, as if it isn't then our children and grandchildren will suffer from our incompetence to act on the excessive water use.
I'll leave you with a final thought, a look to the future if we carry on in this reckless way. Imagine if you woke up and couldn't have a shower, couldn't flush the toilet, couldn't run the tap to boil some water and couldn't brush your teeth.
Would your quality of life still be the same?
I think not...
We all need water, so always keep in mind that once it's gone, it's gone.