From 70% earth surface, 96% is seawater and only 1% is drinkable. An estimated of 2 billion people will have no access to safe water by 2025. By 2050 at least 1 in 4 people will be affected by water shortages.
We must move forward towards a full implementation of SDG 6 “Clean water and sanitation” as it is one pillar that connect with essential goals as SDG 1“no poverty”, SDG 2 “zero hunger” and SDG 3 “good health and well-being”. Transforming SDG 6 on a dangerous goal that threatens the entire system in dramatic terms that compromise the own survival of people´s resources.
Climate change, biased interests, unfair distribution of land, etc. are all elements that contributes to make of water a matter of conflict and a “precious jewel” to preserve at all costs.
Even if we were not in times of crises, water scarcity seems to be the worse and more threaten crisis to be addressed. Not just for the devastating impact on land production but of the consequences on power relations in developing countries.
We repeatedly express our concern that local people in vulnerable communities are not going through a committed guided process of empowerment and this stage of unfair “water-relations-power” radically cancel any possibility to move forward. Vulnerable communities would become even more vulnerable if there are not other sources of control for production and direct access to water; local governments with high levels of corruption seem to be the main burden for achieving equality. This is current devastating reality of developing countries in which –in addition- climate change wreak havoc.
There is not enough control and supervision at global and local level to guarantee that an essential natural resource for surviving as water it does not become a monopoly of a élite and a tool for submission and tyranny.
Good governance is –again- the element to keep the focus on to prevent and resist the impact of water scarcity. As corruption seems to be the most important element to take into account for a fair distribution that assures that all the people on an equal basis have access to water.
Water equality and a fair distribution are essential for achieving stability and sustainability at global level. India* is an example that in a global world, one national crisis impacts the rest.
The global water crisis exposure the inefficiency of global institutions and leaders to reduce vulnerabilities and to protect natural resources. Definitely this is an issue that goes beyond any idea of climate change denial, as it is a tangible and forecast chaos for present and future generations worsened by the impact of environmental degradation.
Its not only about developing countries is also the new shape of the world concentrated on urban life. 54% of the world population lives in urban areas and is expected that this trend will grow by 2050. This growing migration creates new challenges on infrastructure and generates new habits that demand more water to be produced. All that “migrants” left behind rural areas that desperately need innovation and hard work to keep them operational.
All of the above without forgetting that water scarcity or no access to water has a direct impact on refugees crisis and the growing new category of “climate change refugees”. An alarming crisis that in addition to adaptation and mitigation processes needs an extra boost in which good governance by the pressure from global institutions guarantees that this main resource is accessible for all.
Joint and coordinated action from global institutions, humanitarian aid and local empowerment of people are a must.
As in the picture I am contemplating water crisis through the eyes of a kid: with the innocence and determination that water equality is an achievable goal. This challenge will be overcome by citizen engagement, global joint action and a serious empowerment of local communities.
Only keeping that innocence alive with work, strength and passion is that 100% people will have access to water worldwide. GO!
*Sculpture Hampton Court Flower Show-Palace London UK
*India water crisis https://qz.com/931878/india-is-facing-its-worst-water-crisis-in-generations/
*Solar empowerment across countries https://stories.undp.org/solar-empowerment-across-countries