Despite water covering 71% of the planet’s surface, more than half the world’s population endures extreme water scarcity for at least one month a year. Current estimates predict that by 2040, up to 20 more countries could be experiencing water shortages. These statistics raise a startling question: is the Earth running out of clean water? Balsher Singh Sidhu takes a closer look at water consumption.TED-Ed and Sidhu examine the solution through the lens of decreasing consumption, the same lens I examine environmental issues on Earth Overshoot Day. It's also an important part of the message I try to impart to my students. That written, another lesson I teach my students is that decreasing consumption is not the same as increasing supply.* BBC News concentrated on that issue when it asked Are we heading towards a water crisis?
By 2025, nearly two billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity according to the United Nations.Both of these are such good videos that I plan on showing them to my students, that is, when I get to meet future classes in person. The college where I teach suspended face-to-face classes for all of last week and half of the week before; classes will resume online tomorrow for the rest of the semester. I still plan on sharing the links in the online versions of my classes. I hope that improves my students' learning. Speaking of which, I hope my readers learned something, too. I did, which makes today a good day. As I last wrote on Friday the 13th, "It's a good day when I learn something new."
Many countries now face decisions over how to provide water to their citizens.
Reality Check takes a look at five potential solutions.
*One of the test questions I ask students is to list three ways to increase water supply and describe their advantages and disadvantages. Every semester, at least one of them responds by describing water conservation measures. That means they didn't learn that lesson. Sigh.