DMPQ:What is water scarcity? Why earth is becoming water stressed?

The stress on water scarcity can be gauge from the fact that 70% of the earth surface out of which only 3% is freshwater. 2/3rd of water is stored in glaciers and frozen lakes. Water scarcity is a condition when water is not available for consumption purpose easily. There are two types of water scarcity:


  1. Physical water scarcity: when natural source of water fails to fulfil the demand .
  2. Economic water scarcity: Scarcity due to poor management of water resource.

Earth is becoming water stressed due to following reasons:

  1. Growing population
  2. Overuse and misuse of water.
  3. Water guzzling practices in agriculture. According to economic survey, water use efficiency is just 40%.
  4. Water is not harvested to maximum potential. It lead to water mixing with ocean making it unusable.
  5. Sewage, Industries effluent are allow to mix with water without sludge treatment at Industrial level. It makes water unfit for consumption.
  6. Most of the new technology involved are water intensive like growing of biofuel crops, extracting coal bad methane and shale gas.
  7. Availability of water on earth is not in proportion to its demand.
  8. People don’t see water as scarce resource. There is insensitivity towards water as commodity.

Hence, there is a need for creating the ecosystem where water is treated as scarce commodity. Water footprint and water pricing can be a possible solution. Protection of water related ecosystem shall be accorded top priority. Without taking affirmative action achieving SDG-6 will be a daunting task.

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