Water is not only fundamental to human life, but it’s necessary for life itself. Water accounts for a large percentage of cells that make up all living organisms. Without water, all the parts of an ecosystem could not work synergistically and operate as a balanced system. Water is natural resource that has become an intricate part of humanity, and how humans’ function as a society. The loss or shortage of this essential resource could negatively impact many aspects of human life. Without water, living conditions could easily become unsanitary, which could lead to a rise of illnesses, as well as deaths. Water scarcity has a direct correlation to the decrease in food storage, which may increase the potential occurrence of hunger and famine. Inadequate water supply can cause economic efficiency implications. Water stress is a global issue that is prevalent despite a nation’s economic wealth.
Clean freshwater is essential for all humans to maintain proper and healthy body function. When there’s an insufficient amount of clean drinking water, people may be inclined to resort to water that has not been treated. In many areas across the globe one can see how unsanitary drinking water gives rise to numerous health complications. For instance, the water crisis in Flint Michigan that started back in 2014, and to this day, the citizens of Flint still face water scarcity, due to the high levels of lead that has contaminated their water supply. Lead is a highly toxic element that has implications on brain and heart health, and in some cases can result in death (“The Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan Has Had Terrible Consequences for Residents’ Health”). In countries with a low GDP the effects of water scarcity can be seen as well. These countries, however, are implemented with a different poison. Numerous types of bacterial, viral and parasitic organisms are common in drinking water that has not been properly sanitized. An infection caused by these organisms usually results in diarrhea. Diarrhea kills approximately 525,000 children under the age of five every year (“Diarrhoeal Disease”). Lead poison and diarrhea are diseases that are preventable through safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and hygiene.
Water is a necessity for food security. Fresh water is largely used for agricultural purposes such as growing and maintaining crops. Droughts are one of the many reasons why people all across the world people are experiencing water shortages. In 2015, the state of California experienced a drought that dwindle the state’s water supply and citizens of the state of California began to witness its negative repercussions on food production. As California’s production of fruits and veggies started to diminish, consumers noticed that the price for fresh fruits and veggies were inflating. Luckily, the drought didn’t cause significant food shortage for the state of California, but that is not case for nations in the developing world. In rural areas of many developing nations, adequate food is heavily dependent on the access to natural resources, including water. Droughts account for the majority of water and food shortages in developing countries. In 2017, Somalia experienced a drought that caused catastrophic hunger and famine. More than 100 people died of starvation within 48 hours, but the people of Somalia agony and pain continued as 434,000 malnourished children were on the brink of death because they lacked treatment and nutritional support (“110 People Die in 48 Hours in Drought-stricken Somalia”).
The global economy heavily depends on water. Low water supply can cause a severe economic downturn in many, if not all, nations. The lack of adequate water will destabilize bilateral international trade. For nations experiencing water scarcity, they will be stressed to produce less agricultural goods and fewer manufactured products and will have to import more products at significantly higher cost. This has the potential to cause a dangerous imbalance in the global trade market causing certain nations to go further in debt while others become wealthier in the long haul. Financial projections state that immense food and agricultural trade deficits could occur due to water stress in South Asia at $1.35 billion while the Middle East and North Africa region will have a deficit of $0.6 billion and nations such as China will see a gap of $1.08 billion and India of $0.44 billion (Guarino, “The Economic Implications of Global Water Scarcity”).
When water disparity is the topic of discussion, the countries that often come to mind are Haiti, Yemen, and Uganda. What many fail to realize is that water scarcity is an issue that also affects developed nations, such as Australia, Japan, and even the United States of America. Water scarcity is an issue not rooted in economical means but rather society’s inability to properly allocate natural resources. The consequences of water scarcity may affect one nation directly but ultimately, it’s an issue that affects all societies. Inadequate supplies of water effects the quality and potential of human life. Those whose lives were taken by the effects of water disparity could never achieve their of potential of becoming, doctors, farmers, lawyers, teachers, and neighbors. Society will never be able to experience the contribution those lives could have had.