Economic Water Scarcity Of Sub Saharan Africa Essay

Economic Water Scarcity Of Sub Saharan Africa Essay

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An estimated 1.6 billion people around the world live in regions of economic water scarcity, with 780 million of these people living in areas with no basic water facilities. Economic water scarcity means that investments in water resources and relevant human labour forces are not substantial enough to meet water demands in an area where the population does not have the financial means to make use of an adequate water source on their own. Economic water scarcity is about an unequal distribution of resources for many reasons, including political and cultural conflict. Symptoms of economic water scarcity include lack of infrastructure development, causing people to have trouble getting enough water for agriculture or even basic sanitation and drinking uses; or inequitable distribution of water even though infrastructure exists.
Much of sub-Saharan Africa is characterised by economic water scarcity, mainly due to lack of infrastructure. Inequality is evident within the sub-continent: Of the 980 large dams in sub-Saharan Africa, 589 are in South Africa, whereas in Tanzania, a country with nearly the same land mass and number of inhabitants, there are only two large dams. These figures directly impact the populations of the countries involved: access to safe water in sub-Saharan Africa is poorer than any other region on the continent, with only 22 percent to 34 percent of the populations in at least eight sub-Saharan countries having access to safe water. Without water to grow crops, these countries find themselves trapped in the poverty cycle and are further unable to afford infrastructure for water withdrawal and storage. Half of the population in this region survives on a dollar a day of income.
Nigeria is blessed with abundant wate...


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...he nation 's gross value of agricultural production, and a third of its food, coming from this region. The Southeast area of Australia is in physical water scarcity due to high withdrawals of the water from the Murray Darling River Basin for agricultural use. Twelve large urban centres line the Murray Darling, competing with agriculture for their share of the limited fresh water. Over the past decade droughts have ravaged the region due to unsustainable withdrawals and increased demand pressures. Every farm and plantation in the region has seen a decrease in output due to water restrictions and degradation of water quality. Agriculture is a main factor contributing to the uneven distribution of water globally, and the clustered, concentrated pattern of water scarcity, as many countries who are suffering from water scarcity are ones who produce large amounts of food.

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