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Our Access to Water

Water Scarcity


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Unit Video

Unit Summary

The source of all life! You can find water everywhere on Earth. Wherever it flows, you can find life.
71 percent of the Earth's surface is covered with water. Did you know that 96.5 percent of all the water is in the oceans? Water also exists in the air as vapour, in rivers and lakes, in icecaps and glaciers, in the ground and even in you![1]

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Because most of the water is in the oceans it means most of the water is saline – it contains lots of salt and difficult to use. This leaves around 3 percent as freshwater and 70 percent of this is in glaciers and ice at the North and South poles. This is a problem as freshwater is essential for human survival and healthy ecosystems. We need fresh water to drink and carry out our daily activities. However, all over the world, pollution, over-consumption and water management[1] means that the quantity and quality of safe water is declining.
For the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) water is not a new challenge. This is the world’s driest region. To understand the extent of the challenge, most regions get almost 6 times more water than MENA.
It is possible to get fresh water from the sea and ocean – countries in the region do this a lot. However, we still cannot get enough for all our water needs. Why? …… because in some countries we use more than fifty percent of the water that is naturally available.[2] And, with a fast-growing population, demand for water is increasing and there is not enough.
By 2050, experts believe every MENA citizen will have only 200 cubic meters of water every year!
We need to take action now!
We need you and other young people to take action and find solutions to improve the situation. The need for water goes beyond borders and geographical limits because we, as a species, are highly dependent on water.
75% of the human body is water! Let’s take a closer look into how water affects our life on different levels.
On a personal level, we use water for:
  • Bathing
  • Sanitation (how we get and use water to stay healthy)
  • Cooking/ Kitchen
  • Hydration (we drink water to stay hydrated)
On an environmental level, water helps in:
  • Growing food
  • For ecological balance (the way plants, animals and humans share the planet together)
  • To keep the temperature of the atmosphere the same
On a developmental level, water supports:
  • Economic growth
  • Innovation and investments
  • Industries that rely on water
Now you can understand how important water is in our lives and the problems we face when we don’t have enough water. This is why we all have to come together and start solving all the challenges we face.