Wednesday October 12, 2022

Tasting Table

In the coming decades, water insecurity will be one of the biggest problems facing the world. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, communities are considered water insecure when they cannot meet their basic water needs for things like agriculture and hygiene. Considering how essential water is, it’s shocking to see that, per the United Nations (U.N.), as of 2021, almost 2.3 billion people live in countries that are water-stressed, with billions more experiencing severe insecurity during at least one month each year. These shortages come from a mix of increasing demand, poor infrastructure, and ecological transformations due to climate change.

The problem of water insecurity is only expected to get worse as populations grow, groundwater gets used up, and climate change accelerates. The World Bank notes that regions that are already water scarce, like the Middle East, are likely to face worsening conditions, while even some places where water is more plentiful, like central Africa, could begin to experience shortages. This is a problem not only for the rest of the world but also for the U.S. According to the U.N. Environment Programme, droughts in the southwest have pushed reservoirs like Lake Mead to record lows, and crops in California are withering on the vine. It’s no surprise that the U.S. government sees worldwide water management as a critical economic and national security issue that demands action.

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