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Global Water Crisis: The Facts

Authors:

Abstract

Water is a foundation of life and livelihoods, and is key to sustainable development. Successful water management will serve as a foundation for the achievement of many of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as for SDG 6 - which is to ‘Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all’. Despite this, water is becoming a pressing societal and geopolitical issue – in some regions, it is already of critical national concern. ‘Business as usual’ will mean the world will miss water-related SDGs by a wide margin; up to 40% of the world’s population will be living in seriously water-stressed areas by 2035; and the ability of ecosystems to provide fresh water supplies will become increasingly compromised. 60% of fresh water comes from river basins that cross national borders. Transboundary water agreements need to be robust enough to deal with increasingly uncertain environmental and climatic conditions, and the social and demographic changes that will raise global population to 9.7 billion by 2050 and double the number of people who live in urban areas. Different conceptualisations of water can and have led to conflict. The perception of water as a human right and a common public and environmental good is often opposed by the view of water as a commodity that needs to be priced to ensure efficient and sustainable use. Not only nations but provinces and communities will need to align water perspectives to allow for peaceful and effective integrated water resource management and sustainable use.
UNU-INWEH
GLOBAL WATER CRISIS:
THE FACTS
UNU-INWEH is supported by the Government
of Canada through Global Affairs Canada.
© United Nations University
Institute for Water, Environment and Health
Authorship: Lisa Guppy and Kelsey Anderson
Contributing Authors: Mehta, P., Nagabhatla, N. and
Qadir, M.
Suggested Citation: Guppy, L., Anderson, K., 2017. Water
Crisis Report. United Nations University Institute for
Water, Environment and Health, Hamilton, Canada.
Cover image: Pixabay.com
Design: Kelsey Anderson (UNU-INWEH)
Download at: http://inweh.unu.edu
ISBN: 978-92-808-6083-2
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Executive Summary
Water is a foundation of life and livelihoods, and is key to sustainable development. Successful water manage-
ment will serve as a foundation for the achievement of many ofthe 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),
as well as for SDG 6 - which is to ‘Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all’.
Despite this, water is becoming a pressing societal and geopolitical issue – in some regions, it is already of
critical national concern. ‘Business as usual’ will mean the world will miss water-related SDGs by a wide margin;
up to 40% of the world’s population will be living in seriously water-stressed areas by 2035; and the ability of
ecosystems to provide fresh water supplies will become increasingly compromised.
60% of fresh water comes from river basins that cross national borders. Transboundary water agreements need to
be robust enough to deal with increasingly uncertain environmental and climatic conditions, and the social and
demographic changes that will raise global population to 9.7 billion by 2050 and double the number of people
who live in urban areas.
Different conceptualisations of water can and have led to conflict. The perception of water as a human right and
a common public and environmental good is often opposed by the view of water as a commodity that needs
to be priced to ensure efficient and sustainable use. Not only nations but provinces and communities will need
to align water perspectives to allow for peaceful and effective integrated water resource management and
sustainable use.
Effective management will mean tackling neglected issues such as water wastage in current systems, which has
been estimated to be up to 30%; common institutional dysfunction, unethical practices, poor accountability, and
corruption in the water sectors of many countries.
This report highlights looming water crises from 6 inter-related contexts: water scarcity and insecurity, water-
related disasters, water, sanitation and health (WASH) crisis, water infrastructure deterioration and destruction,
unsustainable development, and ecosystem degradation.
UN agencies, governments and civil societies have made clear that radical new approaches to water are needed
to reverse these sobering water trends. Only by facing these crises in an intelligent and cohesive way will water
continue to support life, development and biodiversity for our children and our future.
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or more than 3 times the current level of capital investment is needed to achieve the Sustainable
Development Goal 6 targets on water supply, sanitation and hygiene (6.1 and 6.2). The amount of
money needed to meet the other targets of the “water goal” is currently unknown.
US$114 billion per year
12.6 million
deaths
112 million
people were affected by
floods 2005-2015
40% gap
between water demand
and water available
by 2030
30%
of global water
abstraction is lost through
leakage
80%
or more wastewater
returns to the environment
without adequate
treatment
were attributable to the
environment globally in 2012
people now use a source
of drinking water
contaminated by faeces
1.8 billion
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Water scarcity and insecurity
The notion that water is plentiful – it covers 70% of the planet – is false, as only 2.5% of all
water is freshwater. This limited resource will need to support a projected population of
9.7 billion in 2050; and by that date, an estimated 3.9 billion – or over 40% of the world’s
population - will live in severely water-stressed river basins².
It is not just population that is pressuring water resources. Excessive use is also
evident: the global population tripled in the 20th century, but the use of water increased
six-fold³. Between now and 2050, water demands are expected to increase by 400% from
manufacturing, and by 130% from household use.
As water availability decreases, competition for access to this limited resource will increase. 60% of all
surface fresh water comes from internationally shared river basins and there are an estimated 592 transboundary
aquifers. Continuing cooperation and coordination between nations is crucial to ensuring water is available for
human, economic and environmental needs. Although hundreds of international water agreements have been
signed over time, how countries will cooperatively manage growing resource pressures so that they do not lead
to more conflicts over water is not often clear.
Water insecurity can be exacerbated by drought. More people are affected by drought than any other disaster
type. In 2016, 411 million people in total were affected by disasters and 94% of those were drought affected.
Droughts are also the costliest disasters, with significant impacts on agriculture in particular; droughts cause an
average US$6–8 billion worth of losses in agriculture in the USA annually. In China, drought has resulted in an
annual grain production loss of more than 27 million tons over the last two decades; and from the 1950s to the
beginning of this century, the annual average crop area suffering from drought has expanded from 11.6 million
hectares to 25.1 million hectares, an increase of 116%.
If water were secured for irrigated agriculture, the potential global welfare gain for reduced risk in 2010
would have been US$94 billion. Findings also show that enhanced water security can help stabilise food crop
production and prices. In a water secure scenario, the probability of global wheat production falling below 650
million tons per year is reduced from 83% to 38%¹⁰.
There has been a
drop
in globally
available fresh
water per capita
since 1960¹¹
55%
By 2030,
global demand for
water is expected
to grow by
50%¹²
Water scarcity currently
affects more than
40%
of the
global
population¹³
By 2050, an additional
2.3 billion
people can be expected to be living in
areas with severe waterstress, especially
in North and South Africa and South and
Central Asia¹⁴
Worldwide, the total cost of water
insecurity to the global economy is
estimated at
US$500 billion
annually. Including environmental
impacts, this figure may rise to 1%
of global gross domestic product
(GDP)¹⁹
Agriculture accounts for
of all water
withdrawals
globally and for over
in the
majority of Least
Developed Countries
(LDCs)...¹⁵
and
more food will be
needed by 2050¹⁶
Water scarcity, exacerbated by climate
change, could cost some regions up to
6% of their GDP
¹⁷
The 5th assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC) projects that for each
degree of global warming, approximately 7%
of the global population will be exposed to a
decrease of renewable
water resources of at least 20%¹⁸
70%
90%
70%
40% gap
between water demand
and water available
by 2030¹
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Water-related disasters
It is vital to protect investments in water-related infrastructure from shocks and
stresses. In 2009, the World Bank estimated that by 2030, around half the Bank’s
water sector portfolio – which was then US$8.8 billion committed and US$11.3 billion
in pipeline – would be at high to medium risk of exposure to climate change impacts²¹.
In addition, hydrologic hazards are leading to significant deaths, displacements and
injuries. Up to 90% of all disasters are water-related, and over the last two decades,
floods have been the most frequent global natural disaster²²; in 2016, 50% of all
recorded events were related to flooding. The total value of all assets that are at risk from
flooding by 2050 is predicted to be US$45 trillion: a rise of over 340% from 2010²³.
Between 1970 and 2010 the world’s population increased by 87%, from 3.7 billion to 6.9 billion. During the same
period, the annual average population exposed to flood increased by 112% - from 33.3 to 70.4 million per year²⁴.
By 2050, rising populations in flood-prone lands, climate change, deforestation, loss of wetlands and rising sea
levels can be expected to increase the number of people vulnerable to flood disaster to 2 billion²⁵.
The UN was prompted to release warnings about urban flash floods after hundreds died in Guatemala, the USA
and southern France in 2015 – stating that under a changing climate, intense rainfall and urbanisation have made
these disasters more common in the last two decades²⁶.
Water-related ecosystems can mitigate water-related disasters. Every hectare of mangrove and coastal marsh is
worth up to US$15,161 a year in disaster-related services²⁷, and coastal wetlands helped to avoid more than $625
million in damages from Hurricane Sandy in 2012²⁸. Coral reefs act as wave barriers, and as an example of their
effectiveness in risk reduction, spending US$1 million a year on restoring reefs at the Folkestone Marine Park on
the west coast of Barbados could lower annual storm losses there by US$20 million²⁹.
Despite these risk reduction benefits, water-related ecosystems globally are in decline. In parts of Asia and the
Americas, up to half of all coastal mangrove ecosystems have been degraded or destroyed³⁰.
Water-related disasters account for
70% of all deaths
related to natural disasters³¹
Worldwide flood damage
amounted to over
US$50 billion
in 2013 and is increasing³²
Several studies estimate that by 2050 between
150 and 200 million people
could be displaced as a consequence of phenomena, such as
desertification, sea level rise and increased
extreme weather events³⁴
Floods and landslides have
cost an estimated
US$453,000,000
between 2000 and 2016³⁵
More than
107,000 people
died due to hydrological
disasters (floods and landslides)
between 2000 and 2016³³
112 million
people were affected by
floods 2005-2015²⁰
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Water, sanitation and health (WASH) crisis
Although progress has been made in supplying drinking water to more
people year on year, 663 million people still lack ‘improved’ drinking
water sources in 2015³⁷ - and for many people, this ‘improved’ water is not
always safe, reliable, affordable or accessible with equity. For example,
around 45 million people in Bangladesh drink water that contains arsenic
concentrations greater than WHO standards allow³⁸.
Sanitation and hygiene have made less progress, with 2.4 billion people
lacking improved sanitation facilities³⁹. Equity in sanitation and hygiene
access is of particular concern. Seven out of ten people without improved
sanitation facilities, and nine out of ten people still practicing open defecation, live in rural areas; and a lack of
these services often disproportionately affect women and girls, who can not only suffer health repercussions but
personal danger when services are not available and not secure. Diarrheal diseases, long associated with poor
water and sanitation, account for 1 in 9 child deaths worldwide, making diarrhea the third leading cause of death
among children under the age of 5⁴⁰. Poor water, sanitation and hygiene are major contributors to neglected
tropical diseases like schistosomiasis, trachoma and intestinal worms, which affect more than 1.5 billion people
every year⁴¹.
It is not only households that lack adequate services: in low and middle income countries (LMICs), workplaces,
schools and health facilities also lack WASH. In a 2015 survey of LMICs, 38% of health facilities did not have an
improved water source, 35% did not have soap and water for handwashing and 19% did not have improved
sanitation⁴². The lack of universal WASH in schools costs an estimated 1863 million days of school attendance
globally⁴³.
The WASH crisis does not only affect low income countries. In Canada, there are approximately five thousand
homes in First Nations communities that lack basic water and sewage services⁴⁴. Compared to other Canadians,
First Nations’ homes are ninety times more likely to be without running water⁴⁵.
If radical change is not affected, universal water, sanitation and hygiene – as described in SDG targets 6.1 and
6.2 - will not be reached. A World Bank report⁴⁶ found that capital investments must increase by approximately 3
times to achieve the water supply, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) targets globally. Another study has estimated
that WASH efforts will need to exceed current trends by almost four times to achieve SDG 6.1 and 6.2 by 2030⁴⁷.
Unsafe water, poor sanitation
and hygiene cause approximately
3.5 million
deaths worldwide; the latter
estimate represents 25 per cent
of the deaths of children
younger than 14⁴⁸
2.4 billion people
- more than one third
of the global population –
do not use improved
sanitation facilities⁴⁹
One in ten people
has no choice but to
defecate in the open⁵⁰
Globally, approximately
US$260 billion
is lost each year to the effects of poor
sanitation and unsafe water on many
aspects of the economy, but most
significantly on healthcare⁵¹
In India, the time spent looking for a
toilet or finding somewhere to go in
the open costs the economy over
US$10 billion
every year in lost productivity
– 20% of GDP⁵²
1,000 children
die each day due to preventable
water and sanitation-related
diseases⁵³
people now use a source
of drinking water
contaminated by faeces³⁶
1.8 billion
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Water infrastructure deterioration and destruction
Under the Millennium Development Goals, many populations counted as being
'served' by water supply actually were allocated to systems that had failed. Although
there may be as many as 60,000 new handpumps being constructed in Africa every
year⁵⁶, a 2007 study found 36% of hand pumps across 21 countries in sub-Saharan
Africa were not functional⁵⁷. This represents a loss of between US$1.2 and 1.5 billion in
investments.
The total cost to water utilities worldwide caused by ‘non-revenue water’ – a
combination of physical and commercial losses - has been conservatively estimated
at US$141 billion per year. In developing countries, approximately 45 million cubic
meters per day are lost through water infrastructure leakage — enough to serve nearly 200
million people⁵⁸. This problem will only get worse if water infrastructure is not
maintained properly, even for high income countries; for example, the capital
investment needed to maintain aging water infrastructure in the USA will reach an
estimated US$195 billion in 2040, but if current funding trends continue, needs will be
underfunded by US$144 billion⁵⁹.
Until the SDGs began in 2015, there was far less international focus on
infrastructure and processes for wastewater treatment, water recycling, and water
efficiency, with significant negative impacts in many areas. For example, poorly
treated wastewater is used for agriculture in many low income countries, but children (8-12 years) in areas using
wastewater have been shown to have a 75% prevalence rate for gastroenteritis, compared to 13% in areas using
freshwater, bringing a 73% higher health cost per child in areas using wastewater⁶⁰.
The failure of water systems is often considered a governance issue. In the water sector, the fragmentation of
actors and of accountabilities hinders and undermines transparency and economic efficiency and opens doors
for corruption. Institutional dysfunction, unethical practices, opaque decision-making, poor accountability, and
corruption are reportedly common, but difficult to quantify⁶¹.
Water infrastructure that is damaged deliberately can also have tremendous local impacts. For example, one air
strike in December 2016 in Syria cut water supplies for 3.5 million people and, while some pumping was restored
relatively quickly, 1.4 million had continued reduced supply⁶². Since 2011, water and water infrastructure have
been used as a military target in Syria, Ukraine, India, Israel, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, Somalia, the Democratic
Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Sudan and Iraq⁶³.
80%
or more wastewater
returns to the environment
without adequate
treatment⁵⁴
In low-income countries, only
8% of industrial and
municipal wastewater
undergoes treatment of any kind⁶⁴
In lower-middle-income countries, only
28%
of wastewater is treated⁶⁵
Globally, it has been estimated that between
5 and 20 million hectares
of land are irrigated with untreated
wastewater⁶⁶
30%
of global water
abstraction is lost through
leakage⁵⁵
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While the effectiveness of water management varies dramatically
between countries, a rapid scale-up in effort and resources will be
needed for most countries to achieve Sustainable Development
Goal 6 and to support other water-related or water-impacted SDGs.
A 2016 study wrote that “the longer governments take to act, the
harder it will be to deliver on their promises by 2030”, and that
overall, every 3 years of inaction will mean that the amount of effort
needed to succeed will increase exponentially⁶⁸.
Beyond SDG 6 – the ‘water goal’- water is fundamental to life
and livelihoods. The success of SDG 6 will underpin progress in
many other goals, including those for human health, universal
education and urban progress. Water security is fundamental to
poverty alleviation, and water resource management impacts almost
all aspects of economic activity, including food production and security, industry, energy production,
and transport⁶⁹.
However, these human activities often degrade water resources. 2 million tons of human waste are disposed
of in water courses every day⁷⁰; 15–18 billion m³ of freshwater resources are contaminated by fossil fuel
production every year⁷¹; and the food sector contributes 40 and 54% to the production of organic water pollutants
in high-income and low- income countries respectively ⁷². Severe pathogenic pollution affects around one-third
of all rivers, severe organic pollution around one-seventh of all rivers, and severe and moderate salinity pollution
around one-tenth of all river stretches in Latin America, Africa and Asia⁷³.
To move beyond simply ‘ticking off’ sustainability indicators to true sustainability in the water sector, Member
States must consider the full cost of water and the services it provides.
Unsustainable development
Or more than 3 times the current level of
capital investment is needed to achieve
the Sustainable Development Goals on
water supply, sanitation and hygiene
(WASH). the amount of money needed
to meet the other targets of the “water
goal” is currently
US$114 billion per year
Unknown⁶⁷
A 2°C rise in global average temperature could mean additional water-related costs between
US$13.7 billion and $19.2 billion
per year from 2020 to 2050, mostly through water supply and flood management⁷⁴
Regionally, the global limit of ecological
sustainability of water available for
abstraction is reported to have
been exceeded for about
one-third
of the human population.
This will rise to about half of the
human population by 2030⁷⁶
Of the world’s 263 transboundary
basins, more than
60% lack
any type of cooperative
management framework⁷⁷
Wealthier diets cost water:
Producing 1 kg of rice requires around
3,500 L of water,
while 1 kg of beef costs
15,000 L⁷⁵
Wastewater-related emissions of methane and nitrous oxide
could rise by 50% and 25%,
respectively, between 1990 and 2020⁷⁸
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All freshwater ultimately depends on the
continued, healthy functioning of ecosystems.
Recognising the water cycle as a biophysical
process is essential to achieving sustainable
water management⁸⁰ and securing the ecosystem
services that humans rely on.
The water- related services provided by
tropical forests include the regulation of water
flows, waste treatment and water purification and
erosion prevention; these collectively account for a value of up to US$7,236 per hectare per year – more than
44% of the total value of forests, exceeding the values of carbon storage, food, timber, and recreation and tourism
services combined⁸¹. Despite this, between 1997 and 2011, US$4.3 to US$20.2 trillion per year worth of
ecosystem services were lost due to land use change.
Freshwater ecosystems themselves provide more than US$75 billion in goods and ecosystem services for
people annually; they also sustain a disproportionately large number of species, including a quarter of all known
vertebrates⁸². However, wetlands are being increasingly threatened by a host of problems. Since 1900,
64% of the world’s wetlands have disappeared⁸³. This degradation has been valued at US$20 trillion in lost
ecosystem services annually⁸⁴. According to some estimates the populations of freshwater species declined by 76 %
between 1970 and 2010⁸⁵; Nearly one-third of the world’s amphibians are at risk of extinction and in some
regions, more than 50% of native freshwater fish species are at risk of extinction⁸⁶.
Wetlands are also carbon sinks. Peatlands –lands with peat at the surface- cover only 3% of the Earth’s land
surface, but store nearly double the carbon than all the world’s forests combined, if they are kept wet. An overall
loss of 15% of peatlands has been reported, which translates to a contribution of 5% of all global anthropogenic
carbon dioxide emissions⁸⁷. Almost half (45%) of the peatlands in the Nordic and Baltic States have been drained
and emit almost 80 megatons of carbon dioxide annually – which is 25% of the total carbon dioxide emissions
of these countries⁸⁸.
Ecosystem degradation
12.6 million
deaths were attributable to the
environment globally in 2012⁷⁹
Eutrophication of surface water and
coastal zones is expected to increase
almost everywhere until 2030. Globally,
the number of lakes with harmful algal
blooms will increase by at least
20% until 2050⁹⁰
It is estimated that the number of people living
in environments with high water quality risks
due to excessive biochemical oxygen demand
(BOD) will affect
one fifth
of the global population in 2050, while people
facing risks from excessive nitrogen and
phosphorous will increase to
one third
of the global population over the same period⁸⁹
There has been a
30%
decline in biodiversity
health since 1970⁹²
Between US$4.3 and US$20.2 trillion per year
worth of ecosystem services were lost between
1997 and 2011 due to land use change⁹³
Inefficient use of water for crop
production has caused salinization
of
20%
of the global
irrigated land area⁹¹
THIS FACT >>
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References
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² OECD, 2012. Environmental Outlook to 2050: the consequences of inaction. OECD 2012. http://www.oecd.org/env/indicators-modelling-out-
looks/oecd-environmental-outlook-1999155x.htm
³ FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), 2009. How to Feed the World in 2050. FAO, Rome. http://www.fao.org/wsfs/
forum2050/wsfs-background-documents/wsfs-expert-papers/en/
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¹¹ Calculated from FAO AQUASTAT (http://www.fao.org/nr/water/aquastat/main/index.stm) using Renewable internal freshwater resources per
capita (cubic meters)
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¹³ United Nations, (n.d.) Water. http://www.un.org/en/sections/issues-depth/water/
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modelling-outlooks/oecd-environmental-outlook-1999155x.htm
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culture (SOLAW) – Managing systems at risk. FAO, Rome, and Earthscan, London. http://www.fao.org/docrep/017/i1688e/i1688e00.htm
¹⁶ FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), 2009. How to Feed the World in 2050. FAO, Rome. http://www.fao.org/wsfs/
forum2050/wsfs-background-documents/wsfs-expert-papers/en/
¹⁷ World Bank Group, 2016. High and Dry: Climate Change, Water, and the Economy. World Bank, Washington DC. http://www.worldbank.org/
en/topic/water/publication/high-and-dry-climate-change-water-and-the-economy
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Chatterjee, K.L. Ebi, Y.O. Estrada, R.C. Genova, B. Girma, E.S. Kissel, A.N. Levy, S. MacCracken, P.R. Mastrandrea, and L.L. White (eds.)]. Cam-
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Jobs. Paris, UNESCO. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002439/243938e.pdf
²⁰ Calculated from EM-DAT: The International Disasters Database. http://www.emdat.be/
²¹ Vahid Alavian, V., Qaddumi, H., Dickson, E., Diez, S., Danilenko, A., Hirji, R., Puz, G., Pizarro, C., Jacobsen, M., Blakespoor, B., 2009. Water and
Climate Change: Understanding the Risks and Making Climate-smart Investment Decisions. The World Bank, New York. http://siteresources.
worldbank.org/EXTNTFPSI/Resources/DPWaterClimateChangeweblarge.pdf
²² CRED (Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters), 2013. Disaster Data: A balanced perspective, CRED Crunch Issue 32. http://www.
cedat.be/publications
²³ OECD, 2012. Environmental Outlook to 2050: the consequences of inaction. OECD Publishing, Paris. http://www.oecd.org/env/indicators-mod-
elling-outlooks/oecd-environmental-outlook-1999155x.htm
²⁴ UNISDR (UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction), 2011. Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction. UNISDR, Geneva. https://www.
unisdr.org/we/inform/publications/19846
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... Water as a resource has become more scarce with 40% of the world's population living in water stressed areas -Guppy and Anderson, 2017. Fresh water has reduced by 55% from the 1960's and the forecast is that it will increase by another 50% by 2030 [4]. Economic impact equates to US$ 500 billion per annum due to water insecurity -Guppy and Anderson, 2017. ...
... This in turn has forced introductions of water restrictions with the hope that water supply can be maintained to the communities. The unfortunate fact is that around 30% of water losses occur from leaks in distribution networks [4,8,9]. Reduction in these water losses can assist in alleviating water supply in all ready stressed water regions. ...
... An hourly average is then calculated for each of the seven-day classifiers and the trends can be seen in Fig. 2 combined with the Year average and Non classifier average trends. A comparison of the performance is 4. The accuracy of the models require testing to determine its accuracy and if false alarms will occur or leaks will not be detected. ...
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Water as a resource is becoming more scarce with South Africa having several provinces being struck with droughts. Up to 30% of water is lost through leaks in water distribution networks. It is common practice to monitor water usage in large water distribution networks. These monitoring systems unfortunately lack the ability to alert on high flow rates and detect water leaks unless the data is reviewed manually. The paper will explore statistical and Artificial Intelligence approaches to test the viability to detect leaks. This will can then be used as an alerting team to improve operational efficiencies of small teams and reduce repair time of leaks and thus reduces water lost through leaks.
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The relationship between climate change and water is an obvious and key issue within the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This study aims to investigate the social representation created around this relationship in three different territorial contexts in order to evaluate the influence of the territory on the perception of the risk of climate change and its relationship with water. By means of a questionnaire completed by 1709 university students, the climatic literacy of the individual was evaluated in order to relate it to other dimensions on the relationship between climate change and water (information, training previous on climate change and pro-environmental attitudes) in their different dimensions in three different territorial contexts. Three hypotheses have been tested: (1) The denial of the CC is significantly associated with a representation that belittles the consequences of global warming and other extreme phenomena. (2) Territorial contexts with high average rainfall levels and low average annual temperatures tend to minimize the social representation of water risks associated with the CC. (3) There is significant interaction between the socio-cultural context and social representations on the causes, consequences and solutions to the problems of CC and water. The first two hypotheses have been rejected, while the third has been accepted. The research results show high climate literacy in the samples of selected university students. It is noted that students recognize a close relationship between the problem of water and the climate crisis. Likewise, they identify different types of causes, consequences, physical processes and solutions. Different climatological contexts do not show significant differences in the social representations that students show about climate change, while socio-educational variables such as available scientific information, or ideology orientation do show significant differences.
... All this led to the scarcity of water and its sources, causing a reduction in the use of surface and groundwater in all the fields. Studies showed that one of the three citizens in India will be living under conditions of full water scarcity by 2025 (Amarasinghe and Smakhtin 2014) and by 2035, 40% of the world's population will be living in heavily water-stressed regions, and till 2050, the demand for water is anticipated to boost by 400% from manufacturing and 130% from household uses (Guppy and Anderson 2017). Since current wastewater treatment systems are heavily overloaded and energy-intensive in implementation and operation. ...
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Yunnan is one of the provinces which had been frequently and heavily affected by drought disasters in China. Recently, large severe droughts struck Yunnan, caused considerable social, economic and ecological losses. A risk assessment of meteorological drought for Yunnan province is provided in this study. Based on the daily meteorological data of 29 stations during 1960–2010, duration and severity as two major drought characteristics, defined by the runs and the composite meteorological drought index, are abstracted from the observed drought events. Three bivariate Archimedean copulas are employed to construct the joint distributions of the drought characteristics. Based on the error analysis and tail dependence coefficient, the Gumbel–Hougaard copula is selected to analyze spatial distributions of the joint return periods of drought. The results indicate that a high risk is observed in the middle parts and the northeast parts of Yunnan province, while a relative lower drought risk is observed in the northwest of Yunnan province. The probabilistic properties can provide useful information for water resources planning and management.
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Results: We estimate that 1.8 billion people globally use a source of drinking water which suffers from faecal contamination, of these 1.1 billion drink water that is of at least ‘moderate’ risk (>10 E. coli or TTC per 100 ml). Data from nationally randomised studies suggest that 10% of improved sources may be ‘high’ risk, containing at least 100 E. coli or TTC per 100 ml. Drinking water is found to be more often contaminated in rural areas (41%, CI: 31%–51%) than in urban areas (12%, CI: 8–18%), and contamination is most prevalent in Africa (53%, CI: 42%–63%) and South-East Asia (35%, CI: 24%–45%). Estimates were not sensitive to the exclusion of low quality studies or restriction to studies reporting E. coli. Conclusions: Microbial contamination is widespread and affects all water source types, including piped supplies. Global burden of disease estimates may have substantially understated the disease burden associated with inadequate water services. Objectifs: Estimer l'exposition à la contamination fécale par l'eau potable, telle qu'indiquée par les quantités d’Escherichia coli (E. coli) ou de coliformes thermo-tolérants (CTT) dans les sources d'eau. Méthodes: Nous avons estimé l’étendue de la couverture en différents types de sources d'eau potable à partir d'enquêtes sur les ménages et des recensements à l'aide de la modélisation à multi-niveaux. Les données de couverture ont été combinées avec des études de qualité de l'eau évaluant E. coli ou les CTT y compris celles identifiées par une revue systématique (n = 345). Les modèles prédictifs pour la présence et le niveau de contamination des sources d'eau potable ont été développés en utilisant la logistique de régression à effets aléatoires et une sélection de covariables. Nous avons évalué la sensibilité de l'exposition estimée pour étudier la qualité, les bactéries indicatrices et avons séparément considéré des études nationales randomisées. Résultats: Nous estimons que 1,8 milliard de personnes dans le monde utilisent une source d'eau potable porteuse de contamination fécale. Parmi celles-ci 1,1 milliard boivent de l'eau avec un risque assez «modéré» (>10 E. coli ou CTT par 100 ml). Les données des études nationales randomisées indiquent que 10% des sources améliorées pourraient être à risque «élevé», i.e. contenant au moins 100 E. coli ou CTT par 100 ml. L'eau potable se trouve être plus souvent contaminée dans les zones rurales (41%, IC: 31–51) qu'en milieu urbain (12%, IC: 8–18) et la contamination est la plus répandue en Afrique (53%, CI: 42–63) et en Asie du sud-est (35%, IC: 24–45). Les estimations n’étaient pas affectées par l'exclusion des études de faible qualité ou par la restriction aux études rapportant sur E. coli. Conclusions: La contamination microbienne est très répandue et affecte tous les types de sources d'eau, y compris les fournitures par tuyauterie. Les estimations de la charge mondiale des maladies pourraient avoir sensiblement sous-estimé la charge de morbidité associée à des services d'eau inadéquats. Objetivos: Calcular la exposición a la contaminación fecal a través del agua para consumo, según los niveles de Escherichia coli (E. coli) o coliformes termotolerantes (CTT) en las fuentes de agua. Métodos: Utilizando modelos multinivel, hemos calculado la cobertura de diferentes tipos de fuentes de agua para consumo basándonos en encuestas a hogares y censos. Los datos de cobertura se combinaron con estudios de calidad del agua que evaluaron niveles de E. coli o CTT, incluyendo aquellos identificados mediante una revisión sistemática (n = 345). Los modelos predictivos para la presencia y nivel de contaminación de las fuentes de agua para consumo se desarrollaron utilizando una regresión logística de efectos aleatorios y covariables seleccionadas. Evaluamos la sensibilidad de la exposición calculada según la calidad del estudio, la bacteria utilizada como indicador y tuvimos en cuenta de forma separada los ensayos nacionales aleatorizados. Resultados: Hemos calculado que 1.8 billones de personas a nivel global utilizan una fuente de agua para beber que sufre de contaminación fecal; de estas 1.1 billones consumen agua que es al menos de riesgo “moderado” (>10 E. coli o CTT por 100 mL). Datos de estudios nacionales aleatorizados sugieren que un 10% de las fuentes de agua mejoradas pueden ser de‘alto’ riesgo, al contener al menos 100 E. coli o CTT por 100 mL. El agua para consumo se encuentra más a menudo contaminada en áreas rurales (41%, IC: 31–51%) que en áreas urbanas (12%, IC: 8–18%) y la contaminación es más prevalente en África (53%, IC: 42–63%) y el Sudeste Asiático (35%, CI: 24–45%). Los cálculos no eran sensibles a la exclusión de estudios de mala calidad o a la restricción de estudios en los que se reporta E. coli. Conclusiones: La contaminación microbiana está ampliamente extendida y afecta todos los tipos de agua, incluyendo la distribuida a través de tuberías. Los cálculos de la carga global de enfermedad podrían haber subestimado sustancialmente la carga de enfermedad por servicios de agua inadecuados.
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Increasingly severe drought has not only threatened food security but also resulted in massive socio-economic losses. In the face of increasingly serious drought conditions, the question of how to mitigate its impacts through appropriate measures has received great attention. The overall goal of this study is to examine the influence of policies and social capital on farmers’ decisions to adopt adaptation measures against drought. The study is based on a large-scale household and village survey conducted in six provinces nationwide. The survey results show that 86% of rural households have taken adaptive measures to protect crop production against drought, most of which are non-engineering measures. In the case of non-engineering measures, changing agricultural production inputs and adjusting seeding or harvesting dates are two popular options. A multivariate regression analysis reveals that government policy support against drought such as releasing early warning information and post-disaster services, technical assistance, financial and physical supports have significantly improved farmers’ ability to adapt to drought. However, since only 5% of villages benefited from such supports, the government in China still has significant room to implement these assistances. Moreover, having a higher level of social capital in a farm household significantly increases their adaptation capacity against drought. Therefore, the government should pay particular attention to the farming communities, and farmers within a community who have a low level of social capital. Finally, farmers’ ability to adapt to drought is also associated with the characteristics of their households and local communities. The results of this study also have implications for national adaptation plans for agriculture under climate change in other developing countries.
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Economic evidence on the cost and benefits of sanitation and drinking-water supply supports higher allocation of resources and selection of efficient and affordable interventions. The study aim is to estimate global and regional costs and benefits of sanitation and drinking-water supply interventions to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target in 2015, as well as to attain universal coverage. Input data on costs and benefits from reviewed literature were combined in an economic model to estimate the costs and benefits, and benefit-cost ratios (BCRs). Benefits included health and access time savings. Global BCRs (Dollar return per Dollar invested) were 5.5 for sanitation, 2.0 for water supply and 4.3 for combined sanitation and water supply. Globally, the costs of universal access amount to US$ 35 billion per year for sanitation and US$ 17.5 billion for drinking-water, over the 5-year period 2010-2015 (billion defined as 10(9) here and throughout). The regions accounting for the major share of costs and benefits are South Asia, East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Improved sanitation and drinking-water supply deliver significant economic returns to society, especially sanitation. Economic evidence should further feed into advocacy efforts to raise funding from governments, households and the private sector.