The Water Shortage Problem and Solutions

The world’s population is growing, and so is the demand for water. An MIT study estimates that by 2050, half of the world’s population “may be living under at least moderately stressed water-resource conditions.”1 Approximately 70 percent of the world’s population already experiences water scarcity at least one month of the year.2 When considering the water shortage problem and solutions, one must keep in mind that it’s a complex issue with no single answer. Nevertheless, there are organizations seeking to address this worldwide concern in various ways.

Some organizations are developing innovative methods and technology to utilize the earth’s untapped resources.

For example, Israel-based Watergen has developed technology to extract water from the air.3 Others are looking to the oceans, which cover two-thirds of the earth’s surface, for solutions to water shortages.4 This water, however, must first be desalinized to be safe for human consumption. The process of desalination can be expensive, energy-intensive and potentially harmful to the environment.5 Another solution is to recycle sewage water by first treating and purifying it and then reusing it for various purposes.6

In some areas, the issue of water shortages lies in insufficient infrastructure.

Sometimes, the infrastructure is present but has become corroded, which can pollute the water supply. In such cases, sustainable water management—with improved water infrastructure, water conservation, efficiency, pollution control and sewage treatment—offers a solution.7

Since agriculture accounts for roughly 70 percent of freshwater usage, another solution to water shortages is to improve agricultural efficiency.8

For example, irrigation techniques, such as precision watering, and using seeds that require less water would help in conserving water.9

There are also solutions on the individual level.

For example, Waterlogic lists several ways individuals can better steward water, including taking shorter showers, installing low-flow toilets, repairing leaks, collecting rainwater and reusing graywater.10

GFA World helps individuals who are among the 1.1 billion people struggling without access to clean water.11 Serving the “least of these” in areas such as Asia and Africa, GFA missionaries share the tangible love of Christ with men, women and children in need. One avenue for their compassion is through Jesus Wells and BioSand water filters, which provide clean, pure water that drastically improves people’s health and lives.

1 Schlosser, Adam C., et al. “The Future of Global Water Stress: An Integrated Assessment.” MIT Joint Program. January 2014.
2 Mekonnen, Mesfin M., and Arjen Y. Hoekstra. “Four billion people facing severe water scarcity.” Science Advances. February 12, 2016.
3 “Creating Drinking Water from Air.” Watergen. Accessed December 20, 2021.
4 “Safe Drinking Water is Essential.” Koshland Science Museum. Accessed December 21, 2021.
5 “Water scarcity: why our most precious resource is dwindling.” Deutsche Welle. Accessed October 25, 2021.
6 “Water scarcity: why our most precious resource is dwindling.” Deutsche Welle. Accessed October 25, 2021.
7 “Solutions to Water Scarcity: How to prevent water shortages?” Solar Impulse Foundation. Accessed November 19, 2021.
8 Hofste, Rutger Willem, et. al. “17 Countries, Home to One-Quarter of the World’s Population, Face Extremely High Water Stress.” World Resources Institute. August 6, 2019.
9 Leahy, Stephen. “From Not Enough to Too Much, the World’s Water Crisis Explained.” National Geographic. March 21, 2018.
10 “How people are resolving to reduce water scarcity.” Waterlogic. Accessed November 19, 2021.
11 “Water Supply & Sanitation.” World Water Council. Accessed December 21, 2021.