How will water supply cope with rising population?
Every year, the number of people on Earth increases. As @OurWorldInData says, “200 years ago there were less than one billion humans living on earth. Today, according to UN calculations there are over 7 billion of us.” By 2030, some experts predict the world’s population will have increased to a staggering 8.6 billion.
As well as making the world a more crowded place to be, this population explosion puts a huge amount of pressure on our natural resources. In the future, we’ll need to produce more food to feed the ever-increasing number of mouths and more water will be required for drinking, washing, farming and manufacturing. So how exactly will the water supply cope with the rising population? We decided to find out.
As the demand for water increases, the population will need to become increasingly aware of the importance of water conservation. Whether they live in the UK, the US, India, China or anywhere else on Earth, people will need to learn more about the value of water and how they can do their bit to conserve it. In the UK, we can help to minimise the amount of water we use on a daily basis by changing our habits. Something as simple as shortening the length of a shower or turning the tap off when we brush our teeth can save litres of H2O, something that’s good news for global water supplies.
In the coming years, it’s likely that water treatment will become more complex and more effective. There’s a huge amount of water on Earth, but most of it needs to be treated before it can be used for human consumption. The methods used to treat water will depend on the location of the water and its eventual purpose.
Protecting existing water supplies
Another important step in coping with the increase in population is protecting our existing water sources. Rivers, reservoirs, lakes and other fresh water sources need to be protected from pollution and exploitation so that future generations can enjoy clean, safe water. While this may be easy in some parts of the world, in developing countries, protecting water from pollution is a real challenge. Increased awareness of the issue and improved rules and regulations should go some way to protecting our water, however a lot still needs to be done to safeguard vulnerable sources for the future.
The rapid growth of the world’s population presents a big challenge for our water supply. By acting now to educate people on the responsible use of water and to make them aware of the challenges we face, we can go some way to improving the future of the world’s water supply for everyone.