Water shortage is the lack of sufficient water to cater for the needs of the community or a nation as a whole. It is a global issue because it does not only affect a group of people, but rather the whole planet. If the causes of water shortage remain unattended to, there will be continued depletion of water, currently available, leading to a dry planet and disappearance of life. Water shortage occurs when the demand exceeds the supply, or when a large percentage of water comes from the oceans. Ocean water is unfit for human consumption because of its saltiness. Water shortage indicators include low water levels in the rivers, which tend to fall all over the world.
Problems Associated with Water Shortage
There are different problems associated with water shortage. Firstly, this worldwide issue results in health deterioration. Diarrhea, which is a common disease in India, is caused by water shortage. Untreated water, unfit for human consumption, is forcefully consumed because of lack of healthy water fit for human use. Moreover, this problem poses an expense to the Indian government since money is set aside to offset hospitals bills. Time has also been wasted searching for water that in turn slows down the level of development, because less labor force is left in active development initiatives (Gupta, 2008). Addressing this problem will, therefore, reduce the level of poverty in India and thus raise the standard of living.
Water shortage has facilitated poverty, since less agriculturally viable land remains with reduced water availability. Such a problem in turn slows down the level of food production, thus, children die of malnutrition because of food shortage. Furthermore, food scarcity hinders the level of development, as a hungry labor force cannot contribute in the development process. Pollution is also a common problem as well as water shortage, as the citizens strive for the little available water. In addition, there is water pollution because of the problem of overcrowding in India (Viessman, 2009). Sometimes, there happen cases of scrambling or even fighting.
Water shortage results in further exploitation of final consumer. Water, being the main resource used in manufacturing, would result in increased prices of commodities, hence high final price of output. Furthermore, many middlepersons exploit residence by selling water to consumers at a costly price, not friendly to consumers.
In other instances, water scarcity may result in climate change because its persistency causes lack of growth of natural vegetation, thus deserting the area. Such an issue slowly changes the climate of the area making it unproductive. Water shortage also decreases the hygiene, since, water is essential in everyday cleanliness ranging from individual bath, water to clean clothes and clean up the houses. In such conditions the chances of contracting diseases increase and an excellent breeding place for bacteria, responsible of water-borne disease, is provided.
The government of India engages in educating the public on the importance of water conservation as a measure to curb water shortage through avoiding running taps and the importance of fetching water rather than using running water continuously (Pelusey & Pelusey, 2006). For example, washing utensils using tap water is wasteful as opposed to washing using a basin.
The water shortage menace is also solvable through ensuring that worn out water system are always maintained and kept in proper working conditions, hence avoiding leakages and easy evaporation of collected water (Loucks, 2005). Such measures can help save water, such that, in case of shortages, enough reserves are available to sustain the country. Building water reservoirs at both household and community levels is also significant in collecting water from rain and rivers for future use. Collected water should be used to drip irrigation rather than clean tap water.
In conclusion, the government can engage more resources in the development of water catchment areas such as forest through afforestation, since this minimizes the likelihood of rivers getting dry, thus ensuring continuous water availability. Water shortage is a manageable global problem, but it calls for collective effort from all stakeholders in the society.