Cape Town has achieved an undesirable feat – becoming the first major city to be at a high risk of running low on drinking water.
While water may seem abundant and infinite on our planet, in fact making up 70% of it. Conversely, it is important to note that most of it is simply not safe for drinking – only a measly 3% is fresh water.
However, the imminent water shortage lurking in the South-African city isn’t one that the city will possibly be facing alone. For some time now, experts have always echoed the threat of water scarcity. A report acknowledged by the UN estimate that by the year 2030, global freshwater demand will dwarf supply by about 40% courtesy of a series of factors such as rising population, climate change and other human-induced factors.
Cape Town is only a slice of the cake, here are 6 other cities that risk suffering the same unfortunate fate.
1. São Paulo
In 2015, Brazil’s financial capital went through a rough water patch when the city’s main water reservoir fell 4% short of its capacity. At the thick of the shortage, the city which is home to 21.7 million people had less than 20 days of water supply. The issue was hinged on a drought that struck south-eastern Brazil from around 2014 -2017.
The “end” of the draught was prematurely celebrated only for the same old problem to reappear again in January 2017 where the reservoir was adjudged to have dipped by 15%.
A combination of springing housing developments and an old plumbing system has left the officials of the southern Indian city of Bangalore scrambling to manage their sewage and water system. India, just like China is marred by water pollution and Bangalore is one of such cities suffering due to water pollution. Apparently, 85% of the lakes in the city has water that is at most only suitable for irrigation and industrial cooling.
According to World Bank, water is said to be scarce when people receive less than 1,000 cubic meters of freshwater for every person annually. However, in 2014, people in Beijing received only 145 cubic meters.
China is said to be struggling with huge pollution problems and Beijing happens to be badly affected with 40% of its water unsafe for even industrial and agricultural use due to widespread pollution.
River Nile, the main source of water for Egypt is said to be struggling to live up to its duties due to increasing amounts of untreated agricultural and residential waste. The UN predicts that by 2025, the country will be hit with a severe water shortage.
The Indonesian city is facing an imminent water shortage despite rising sea levels. Less than 10 million of its residents have access to piped water and therefore the majority have resorted to digging wells.
This development has contributed to diminishing the underground aquifers and almost eroding them completely – as a direct result, less than 40% of the city now lies below the sea level.
Despite being home to one-quarter of the world’s freshwater reserves, Russia is still being haunted by pollution-related problems resulting from the industrial actions of its Soviet history. This is particularly critical for Moscow, where a majority of the water supply is hugely dependent on surface water.