Water: The Most Undervalued Resource on Earth
In developed countries, due to common access to drinking
water, the value of water is often underestimated. On the contrary,
some nations suffer from water scarcity and struggle to
obtain fresh water every day. For decades, due to increasing
environmental impacts, the quality of water resources has
been constantly deteriorating. Moreover, only 3% of global
water resources are considered as freshwater, of which 23%
are surface and ground waters, which in total means that
only 0.3% is available for consumption (U.S. Geological Survey,
2019). Water use differs between regions of the world,
but in general, it is driven by agriculture, manufacturing, energy
industry, mining, services and public supply. In developed
countries, households use less than 5% of water for drinking
or cooking while in some developing countries water use
for consumption needs reaches 100%. It has been estimated
that by 2025 approx. 2.8 billion people will suffer from water
scarcity due to high water stress and lack of sustainability in
water use and by 2050 half of the global population will live in
water-stress regions (United Nations, 2015).
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