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World Water Gap



Despite the fact that there is obviously enough clean water in the US, Europe and most of the developed world, more than 20% of the Earth’s population lacks clean, safe drinking water.




Where does the fresh drinking water come from?


Scientists estimate that less than 3% of Earth’s water is fresh water. This means that only these 3% are safe to consume.

The vast majority of the earth´s water resources, to be concise 97%, consists of undrinkable salt water in the oceans. Although this water could be filtered, this is a lengthy and difficult process that would take a lot of energy.

Of the fresh water, most is in ice caps and glaciers, and some is in ground water. This is why we drew holes deep into the ground to get to the clean water we use everyday.

Less than 1% of drinkable water is more easily accessible surfacd water in lakes, swamps, rivers. etc.



Task: Open the tab next to this one and create a pie chart on the heritage of our water on earth!

What are the reasons for water scarcity?




Water scarcity can stem from a lot of different factors, many of which cannot be influenced by us humans.

First and foremost, the geographical location and climate of a country can be the reason for its lack of drinking water. Areas with a hot, dry climate and very little rain naturally have more deserts and savannas, and therefore less fresh water. People in these areas, for example our girl Aysha from the movie in the beginning, often have to walk many kilometres to get to a fresh water spring. As you may know from biology class, animals, and even the people living there, have adapted to the scarcity of water. Camels, for instance, store water in their bumps and can thereby survive many days without drinking. Still, the situation for people in these areas is very difficult and many struggle to survive.

Another factor that causes water scarcity is a lack of water systems and infrastructure. This is mainly the case in poor and developing countries, since they do not have the money and resources to build pipelines and distribute drinking water throughout the whole country. Good and durable streets are also important for distributing fresh water, which is why countries without functioing infrastructure tend to have less fresh drinking water. Connected to this problem is the fact that many developing countries do not have the hygiene necessary to produce clean drinking water. We, in Europe, are used to sewage plants, but these countries do not have this opportunity.


Task: Make a quick mindmap (on paper) about the reasons for water scarcity. Take no more than 5 minutes to do this, it should only be a very short summary.

Impact of water scarcity



Health

Clean, fresh water is essential our health. We need to drink clean water without bacteria or dirt in it, so that we do not get sick, and we need water to clean our bodies to prevent the spread of diseases.

The problem is that half of the world´s rivers and lakes are polluted - which means that these cannot be used as sources for fresh water, not even to wash oneself. Many sicknesses are distributed because of unclean water, and this causes a lot of people to die - especially young children. The World Water Forum estimates that nearly 1,4 billion people lack clean drinking water and 2,3 billion people lack adequate sanitation, meaning clean toilets and ways to wash themselves.


Education

As we saw in the video, in the areas that have water scarcity, drinking water has to be collected from springs which are often far away from the hometown. This is mostly the task of women and young girls, who spend most of their day collecting water and therefore miss their education. This is why in many developing countries, women sadly stay relatively uneducated.



Task: Add to your mindmap!


Key facts about water scarcity

  • Four billion people — almost two thirds of the world’s population — experience severe water scarcity for at least one month each year.
  • Over two billion people live in countries where water supply is inadequate.
  • Half of the world’s population could be living in areas facing water scarcity by as early as 2025.
  • Some 700 million people could be displaced by intense water scarcity by 2030.
  • By 2040, roughly 1 in 4 children worldwide will be living in areas of extremely high water stress.

Task: Add some of the facts that seem important to you to the mindmap you already made!

Task:

Start a mindmap about water scarcity in the world.

Add the places you see on this map that are marked red. I´m sure you know some of the names of these countries! If not, feel free to look it up on maps.google.com !