Contemporary World Issues with Water Sanitation

Door Susancarter gepubliceerd in Nieuws en politiek

The issue of water scarcity and sanitation is much wider than most people and politics suppose as it entails a chain reaction in human survival at all. Along with the ecological and environmental aspects, water supplies and conditions may regulate the issues of migration, economy, war and peace. In fact, the specific situation in the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf region with its climate, demography, traditionalism and migration tendencies may lead to hard consequences. The paper dwells on the discussion of the water scarcity and sanitation processes globally, and the UAE and Gulf region particularly, as well as analyzes predictions and presents possible solutions.

Global Change

The amount and balance of the water resources on the Earth that may be used by human decreases, and nowadays, it is less than one percent. 96 percent of the planet’s water is saline. Of the remaining four percent, 69 percent is trapped in ice caps and glaciers, while the remainder is mainly groundwater.” Hence, the deficit of clean water leads to the risk of epidemic such as cholera, malaria, skin diseases etc. In addition, the lack of water supplies leads to the exhaustion of grounds, decrease of the lush areas, starvation and higher death rate. As a result, there is a higher risk of wars, especially between the countries sharing sample water area (for example, rivers or lakes between them). In any case, the riparian of water rights is not always legal, but sometimes, is dictated by the will to resolve the problem. Some international organizations widely use the term “water crisis”. This term denotes an overall scarcity of usable water of good quality as compared with the demand of the society to meet its domestic needs, to grow crops, to maintain environment and ecology and so on.

Another important indicator of the water management regulatory policy is called “water stress”, and it comprises a complex measure of the problems in this sphere. In fact, the measurement of imbalance between water deficit (including demand), consuming need and available water resources is regulated by the Water Stress Index (WSI). This norm is recognized by the representatives of the UN and is measured by specific coefficients. For example, the United Nations map “Water Stress Level of Major River Basins” divides the world into nine basic water areas, with the individual WSI. The lowest rate of WSI is measured by? 0,3, and the highest is? 1,0. The omission of this indicator is the fact that it does not take into account the alternative opportunities of water exploitation such as reuse or desalination of the water.

In 2009, the United Nations in their report presented the connection between the migration, population tendencies and water resources. In their document called “The 3rd United Nations World Water Development Report: Water in a Changing World”, the speakers introduced the following statement. When the environmental and climate conditions are not proper anymore for some populations, they move to some other territories that are better organized for them. The balance of such movement is broken, but nevertheless, it cannot stop the reflex of survival. Consequently, when moving to some new places, the resource exploitation increases as well borrowing the culture of usage. Hence, it can lead to further environmental stresses.

Water Scarcity and Sanitation: from the Gulf Region to the UAE

The researcher proves that in general, the Gulf region occupies 60 percent of the global desalination capacity. According to him, a single GCC state uses 70 percent of its water for irrigation, but derives only one percent of its GDP from agriculture. As compared to the other worldwide researches, it is obvious that the GCC usage of water covers more than a half of the global savings. Along with that, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar spent colossal sums on water desalination annually. Saudi Arabia also tries to provide proper policy on water saving: for example, by mass exporting of their grain production. Nevertheless, there is no policy on the culture of water saving. As a result, the Arabian farmers switched the wheat to fodder crops, and started to use finite aquifer water per small gallons in dairy production. Hence, generally, over the GCC region, water is still considered as an infinite resource that requires no attention and resolution.

The United Arab Emirates climate is famous by its humidity, lack of precipitations, and high temperature. The summer average temperature is +40 degrees (the new summer 2015 record is +70 degrees), and the winter temperature is +23 degrees. The Emirates average precipitation is three-four times lower (78 mm per year) than in some other countries, such as the USA (715 mm per year), Tunisia (207 mm/year) or the Republic of Korea (1274 mm/year).

Along with that, the traditionalism and the large gap between the levels of life causes irrational overuse of the water. The luxury lifestyle and harsh water sanitation deficit in the suburb poor areas are very notable. Thus, when the worldwide average water usage per capita is 250 liters each day, in the UAE, this amount is 550 liters per capita per day. In 2012, the Italian Trade Commission (ITC) reported on the UAE water supply and consumption. Their conclusions are straightly impressing: the agricultural sector uses 67%, in the private household, the consumption is 24%, only 9% belongs to industry, 60% is used by private households (Italian Trade Commission, 2012, n. p.).

Nevertheless, the water resources and, consequently, plants, and other natural goods are limited, and they will not be able to be renewed fast in such conditions. In 2007, the World Bank counted that there is a risk for the UAE to lose a half of their “water availability in MENA region” by 2050. This research is based on the analysis of the conventional and non-conventional water resources that were represented by the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water. According to their report of 2011, the renewable resources of the fresh water inside of the UAE borders will achieve the rate of less than 150 MCM/Year.

The majority of the water supply comes from the groundwater, little bit less - from desalination, and only a small part is received from the treated wastewater. Considering the measure analysis and official statistics, it is possible that by 2030, the annual water demand will be 8,8 BCM, which is twice higher comparing to 4, 4 BCM in 2008.

Possible Solutions

The resolution of the water demand issue should include complex facilitation of various measures in legal, social, cultural, economy and political areas. The legislation should establish proper proportions and volume of water usage, without elite preferences and industrial irrationality. It means that the government should provide a clear standard and make an audit of the properties and companies on their water exploitation. The water supply management should make a daily control and impose prophylactic limitations on water supply in the areas of minimal discomfort and consequences. In addition, the taxes payment for over limited water usage should be much elevated, or the high penalty should be approved. The “taxes” measure should include the coefficient of incomes (revenue) and the family members (in private households), technical supplies (washing machines etc.) and space.

Another valuable resolution is providing water and energy saving technologies into industry (including ISSO standards), agriculture (which is one of the largest water consumers), and desalination alternative energy. Desalination fed by solar or even nuclear energy could ease existing burdens on oil while preserving desalination itself as a durable long-term option for water production.

Another challenge that is mostly not counted is migration not outside but inside of the GCC and UAE. Wealthy life of some categories of population and touristic development attracts many people from the Eastern Europe and Asia. The regulatory models of Canada, the UK or Australia could make a valuable contribution into the migratory management in the future. Along with that, the informational campaigns and propaganda of water saving would not be neglected as well. If the government makes a grant for the public sector to make such promo actions, the result will be immediate. Finally, the elites by themselves should create marketing measures as their authority may play the key role in further water management.

The issue of water scarcity and sanitation touches all parts of the world, but the policy and individual statistics within the defined area shows the necessity in economy. The UAE has one of the lowest WSI indicators and, simultaneously, one of the highest BCM. The present government policy and privileges for the elite private households may lead to the doubled annual BCM in 2030 (8,8) comparing to 2008 (4,4). As a result, the water deficit will increase conflicts and disease distribution (malaria, cholera), as well as reduce touristic attractiveness. Along with that, the UAE has started to produce alternative mechanisms for the water renewal.

About the author: Susan Carter works as a writer on the reliable and trusted custom research paper writing company that delivers quality papers to students who need help. These writers are at your hand with their inspired traits just to help you.

24/09/2019 14:59

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