The Global Water Shortage

Powerful Essays
“At least 36 states are expected to face water shortages within the next five years, according to U.S. Government estimates,” cites David Gutierrez, a journalist for Natural News, an online journal (Gutierrez 1). This is an astounding number; another shocking statistic is that seventy-two percent of the United States geographical area will face imminent shortages of a material vital to survival. The question is no longer whether or not a water shortage is in our near future; the real question is where this catastrophe will occur, how severe its effects will be, and how society can reduce its impact.

The earth is covered by about seventy percent water, in various forms, and thirty percent land mass. Of this seventy percent water only three percent is drinkable; the rest is deemed either toxic or contaminated with saltwater (Massavar-Rahmani). This three percent of drinkable water is reduced even further to one percent when we take into consideration its accessibility. The other two percent of usable drinking water can be found in various unusable places such as, “ice, icebergs, glaciers, and snowcaps” (Walsh 1). With our natural drinking supplies already vastly limited, humans are burning through the remaining one percent seemingly without care or thought of the imminent future.

Climate shifts greatly affect water supplies around the globe. As temperatures rise in an area the evaporation rate directly increases, reducing viable drinking options. This is a natural occurrence. Another natural factor that contributes to the loss of possible drinking sources is the fact that with rising global temperatures sea levels also rise. As sea levels rise they infect fresh water near coastal areas. The ocean gradually infiltrates fr...

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