Water scarcity is one of the most worrying crises of the modern age. Investing in better water management could tackle the issue.
Rabat – In its latest reports on overall water stress, the World Resources Institute (WRS) has ranked Morocco among the countries threatened to face high baseline water stress. Morocco appears 22nd in the overall ranking and 12th in Arab countries.
The WRS attributed water scarcity to climate-change, socio-economic development, urbanization, and population growth.
The report found that 12 out of the 17 most water-stressed countries are in the MENA region – home to one-quarter of the world’s population.
“The region is hot and dry, so water supply is low to begin with, but growing demands have pushed countries further into extreme stress,” the report said.
The 17 countries use more than 80% of the available supply on average every year.
In a report carried by the World Bank, it is found that water-scarcity will inevitably affect economies in the MENA region and is expected to cause a loss in GDP of 6-14% by 2050.
The WRS has stated that there are countless solutions to tackle water shortage but only stated the most 3 effective ways.
The solutions include: Investing in grey and green infrastructure by building pipes and treatment plants, as well as wetlands, and healthy watersheds.
Increase agricultural efficiency by improving irrigation techniques (using precision watering rather than flooding fields) and using seeds that require less water, in addition to reducing food loss and waste, which use one-quarter of all agricultural water.
The Washington DC-based organization suggested advance treating, reusing, and recycling as a third solution to create a “new” water source.
Leaders in treatment and reuse
With 100% of its water treated and 78% of it is reused, Oman – ranked 16th in the list – has emerged as a leader in water treatment and reuse.
Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) treat around 84% of wastewater collected, but only 44% are reused.
The world’s largest wastewater treatment plant is found in Washington DC. On a daily average, the Blue Plains plant treats close to 300 million gallons of wastewater and has the ability to treat over 1 billion gallons a day at peak flow, according to the plant’s website.
Earth Overshoot Day
Water shortage is not the only alarming environmental issue to hit headlines. A study carried out by the Global Footprint Network shows that humanity has depleted, in just 7 months, all of its share of natural resources such as water, soil, and clean air for the year. This means that the earth’s population is currently consuming the resources of future generations.
The Earth Overshoot Day fell this year on July 29, which is the earliest date ever, according to a report from the Global Footprint Network. The Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s level of consumption exceeds the number of natural resources the earth can regenerate.
Below is the national water stress rankings: