The water yield of the River Nile is becoming increasingly erratic as a result of climate change, which may have very grave consequences for Egypt.
To this day, the country of 98 million people is highly dependent on the river: 95 percent of the population lives along its banks, and 90 percent of the country’s water is also supplied by the Nile.
In recent years, however, the river’s water yield has undergone a number of changes due to global warming and human activities. Although in the region of the source of the Nile there is actually more rain than before, the distribution has become more irregular, and the torrential rains wash out fertile soil and block up the water channels of dams. In the near future, it is expected that there will be fewer years with near average water yields, while extremes (floods and droughts) will come to dominate.
Yet the country’s water demand exceeds what the river is able to supply year after year: reserves are running out, and the annual water deficit is as much as 20 billion cubic metres.
In Cairo, the water supply already fails regularly. In some districts, the taps are only turned on for three hours a day during the warmest months, but even then, a significant portion of the water is wasted due to the poor quality of the water network.
Cape Town’s historic water crisis was a wake-up call for the entire world. Something that had previously been unimaginable happened. If the targets set in the Paris Agreement are not reached, there is reason to fear that many other major cities could suffer a similar fate within a few decades. The example of Cape Town is a timely warning that chronic water shortages are already just around the corner.
Only 1 percent of the World’s water is available fresh water and 70 percent of that is used by agriculture. Morocco is one of the countries facing the crises of less rain, drier topsoil and increasing population.
Climate change is increasingly depleting the water resources of the world – in many places, drinking water shortages are already a serious problem. The shocking images below tell a story about Earth’s largest bodies of water that we can no longer ignore.
We have known for some time that a number of countries in Africa are particularly vulnerable to the effects of global warming on account of their positions alone. A recent study warns that the situation is even worse than we had previously thought.
Political tension caused by water shortages was also a feature of the history of the 20th century, and today, there is fighting in a number of zones where the lack of water was one of the initial causes of the conflict.
Up to 180 thousand people may be left without drinking water due to the severe drought.
Extreme drought is putting one of the world’s most important trade routes at risk.
The characteristic sand banks of the river have grown larger, some branches have dried out completely.
Zimbabwe’s capital city, Harare, shut down its main water works on 23 September citing shortages of foreign currency to import chemicals required for water treatment. The situation may not only lead to a severe water shortage for the population, but also increases the risks of diseases carried by contaminated water, such as cholera.
A comprehensive report by the European Environment Agency claims that over the next 30 years, agricultural yields could drop by up to 16 percent in Europe due to the phenomena accompanying climate change.