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From Cape Town’s water shortages to California’s historic drought-- headlines can make it seem like the world is drying out. So what’s going on: is Earth really running out of water?
Recent news about Cape Town’s water shortages has brought water to the front and center of many people’s minds. And for those of us that have access to clean water on a daily basis we probably don’t think all that much about it. But water is essential to human survival. We drink it, we grow our crops with it, we bathe with and it’s used in many industrial processes like manufacturing and power generation. And as our population grows, the demand for water will increase--and lack of usable water will become a real issue for lots of places.
Is lack of water an issue for places?
For many parts of the world, water is already a big problem. According to the United Nations, over two billion people end up having to drink contaminated water because they don’t have access to the clean water. And because of this more than half a million children die every year. And ensuring access to clean water and sanitation is one of the seventeen sustainable development goals of the United Nations.
Why is lack of water becoming a problem?