Can we run out of drinking water? Explanation, reasons, meaning

Raw materials, such as oil or gas, are often the subject of discussion because they are of economic importance. Nevertheless, one topic is neglected, namely the importance of drinking water, which forms the basis of human life. Water is increasingly becoming a scarce and important commodity, which in the worst case can lead to conflicts. Current climate change and increasing drought are causing water shortages, and not only in tropical areas of the world. Meanwhile, there are communities in Germany that are affected by water scarcity.

This article is about the importance of drinking water and whether we can run out of it. The dangers are explained and the possible solutions that can help to save drinking water. Because of the existential importance of drinking water, it is important to pay more attention to the issue in the near future.

Water, an indispensable commodity for humans

According to current findings, humans can survive up to three months without food. In contrast, the situation is completely different when it comes to drinking water. In this respect, people are able to survive for only three days if they do not consume water. Nevertheless, considerable problems occur after only 24 hours if the human organism is not supplied with water. Consequently, even a brief deprivation of water is associated with scenarios ranging from health-threatening to life-threatening.

The human organism consists of approx. 60 % water, so that water is the basis of human life. It is a commodity that is of elementary importance for human coexistence. A lack of water not only leads to health risks. Social peace can also be shaken, as the past has shown. In some regions of the world, there is a shortage of clean drinking water, and this is often accompanied by disputes over water.

Therefore, drinking water plays an important role on many levels. On the one hand, drinking water is indispensable when it comes to human health. On the other hand, water plays a central role on a political, social level. Access to clean drinking water ensures the stability of a society and prevents conflicts. It is the responsibility of individuals and politicians to ensure that drinking water shortages are contained. Otherwise, there is a risk of regional conflicts, also within Europe.

The dangers of water scarcity for society and the economy

A closer look reveals numerous dangers that can be traced back to water scarcity. Among others, entire communities that live from tourism are severely affected. Prolonged droughts associated with water shortages can cause entire landscapes to dry out. In addition, it increases the risk of fire, which has increased significantly in recent years. Water shortages and forest fires can lead to a total loss of income because tourists stop coming. Thus, economic life is partly dependent on drinking water.

Furthermore, food shortages can occur if there is a lack of drinking water. Across Europe, farmers are complaining about the increasing drought and lack of water, resulting in crop failures. This in turn leads to an increase in the price of grain products and more. It threatens the economic livelihood of farmers and makes the cost of staple foods more expensive for more and more people. There is no break in the trend in sight so far, with experts predicting the situation will get worse.

Policymakers are also facing major challenges due to water scarcity. There will be new waves of migration in the future because of uninhabitable areas. Due to prolonged dry periods and extreme heat, entire landscapes will no longer be suitable for living in. Already today, social divisions are emerging with regard to the refugee crises of the recent past.

In addition to the political challenge of managing the wave of refugees, intra-societal conflicts will arise and intensify. Exorbitant costs will arise that will be borne by taxpayers. In addition, the situation on the housing market may deteriorate, with problems already occurring in Germany’s metropolitan areas.

Can the drinking water run out?

It is not possible for drinking water to run out completely. At the same time, this is no reason to breathe a sigh of relief, because there are problems worldwide in securing sufficient drinking water. Furthermore, it is important to distinguish between potable and non-potable water. Only 0.6% of the world’s water is suitable for drinking. This is fresh water, which, unlike salt water, is drinkable. Considering this, only a small portion of water is suitable to be used as drinking water.

Ultimately, there may be intermittent outages so that there is no access to drinking water. In Germany, too, extreme weather conditions can lead to an enormous water shortage. As a result, green spaces cannot be irrigated. It gets even worse when farmers are unable to irrigate their crops. Temperatures and heat waves continue to increase in Germany and throughout Europe. There will be noticeable shortages in many regions, but at the same time there will not be any drinking water at all.

Precautionary measures: protecting and using drinking water

Ultimately, it is important to take measures today to protect drinking water. Water consumption is still too high today, even though there is a shortage of water everywhere in the world. Both on an economic and private level, there is a waste of water. While there are extreme heat waves, many citizens in Germany use water to wash the car or water the lawn. Using water for a swimming pool is also a negative point.

In addition, there is a waste of water on the part of corporations, which are partly to blame. In the recent past, large corporations have privatized and bought up water to use in the manufacture of their products. This in turn has resulted in less water available for private citizens. Companies also have an obligation to make an important contribution to mitigating the consequences of the water shortage.

Conclusion on the subject of water scarcity

Ultimately, drinking water will be continuously preserved, even in the wake of the climate crisis. It is more a matter of distributing water fairly so that the disadvantaged in particular have access. Politics and society as a whole are called upon to ensure fair conditions. This will ensure that social coexistence remains in peace, regardless of future crises.

Autor: Pierre von BedeutungOnline

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