Did you know? Part 2: Water Scarcity

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Water scarcity is among the main problems to be faced by many societies and the World in the 21st century. Water use has been growing at more than twice the rate of population increase in the last century, and, although there is no global water scarcity as such, an increasing number of regions are chronically short of water. Water scarcity already affects every continent.

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1. Hydrologists typically assess scarcity by looking at the population-water equation. An area is experiencing water stress when annual water supplies drop below 1,700 m3 per person. When annual water supplies drop below 1,000 m3 per person. What is the level that defines 'absolute scarcity'?

200 cubic meters per person 

500 cubic meters per person 

750 cubic meters per person 

Answer = 500 cbm/ person
International Decade for Action 'Water for Life' 2005-2015 

2. How many people worldwide live in areas of physical water scarcity?

1.0 billion

1.2 billion

1.5 billion

Answer = 1.2 billion (Around 1.2 billion people, or almost one-fifth of the world's population, live in areas of physical scarcity, and 500 million people are approaching this situation.)
International Decade for Action 'Water for Life' 2005-2015

3. Which of these countries are under 'extreme risk' of water scarcity?

Qatar

Israel

Jordan

Answer = all of the above
Maplecroft

4. Which of the following sectors has the highest footprint interms of water withdrawal for the raw material production?

apparel 

electronics/ high-tech

bio-tech/ pharmaceutical

Answer = (apparel, e.g. freshwater withdrawal for cotton crop irrigation)
Sanitation for All

5. By how much would water use in the US decrease, if all US households installed water-saving features?

by 10%

by 30%

by 50%

Answer = by 50% (If all US households installed water-saving features, water use would decrease by 30%, saving an estimated 5.4bn gallons per day. This would result in dollar volume savings of US$11.3mn per day or more than US$4bn per year (Source: American Water Works Association))
A Blue Revolution – global water

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