Often when people talk about over-population, they talk about food and water resources. In the prediction of WHO analysis, in 2050, almost 65% of the population will struggle with insufficient freshwater. Do you also think it is a problem? I think so. It’s a fundamental problem. From the global perspective, we always struggle with water resources’ insufficiency even though 75% of the planet is covered by water. Although only 2% of this water is drinking water, even half of this is unavailable for consumption.
The water is either in the form of ice in the oceans or snow on the top of hills. We can analyze our water requirements and consumption by watching the Earth from satellites during the years. We can see how the Aral Sea in Central Asia dried up. 32.000km of water channels used for flooding farming areas desiccated it. Where before was a sea, is now a dirty, grey area. But the Aral Sea is not a unique lost sea; we can see more examples like the Yellow River in China. Only 10% of the river comes to the sea, and the rest is used to flood the farming areas. Similar to the river Ind in Pakistan, it remains again only 10% of the water. Or a similar situation in the USA when only 10% of the Colorado River reaches the Mexico border.
Constant insufficiency of water is the reaction of insufficient quality of infrastructure, very low efficiency of the water usage, and of course, over-population. Today, over 1 billion people struggle with the insufficiency of water. The water is missing for sanity and cleaning purposes and the basic needs – for drinking. For example, on the African continent, there are common conflicts between nations because of water. Even countries with a sufficient GDP level, like Mexico or Brazil, often struggle with freshwater insufficiency. We can also find the shortage of fresh water in countries that are much more developed. Like for example, in Los Angeles, Cape Town, or Tokyo. For instance, in São Paulo, with over 20 million people conglomeration, people started developing their own water wells. But underground freshwater resources are also limited, and people again harvest it much faster than nature can regenerate/recycle. And we know that the population’s growth continues and the perspective of freshwater availability for a population that will come during the next 30 years showing is very low.
Prediction says that in 2025, not less than two billion people will face systematic insufficiency of drinking water, and in 2040 will struggle more than 50% of the world population. Because most water resources are going to food production machinery and farming, there will be a secondary impact, less food to feed the 10 billion people. So we can say that the population is usable only 1% of the water in the world. At the current moment, we use about 50% of this 1% of freshwater. From this water, about 75% of water is used for farming and production. For example, to grow a few potatoes, you need on average 25l of water, for a salad over 140l of water, to get two chicken eggs 270l of water, and if you eat a good beef steak, you can be sure that the production consumes over 2000l of drinking water. Do you want some more extreme examples? One kilogram of bread consumes 1600l of water, 1kg of cheese can consume over 5500l of water, and one nice hamburger costs us 15000+l of freshwater. That’s the reason why water is becoming one of the essential resources in the world. Do we need it? So much meat? For the price of our survival and lives?