Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

The last drops: seven bodies of water threatened by drying up

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.


The surface area of the Hawaiian Lake Waiau began to shrink fast in 2010. The water loss may have been caused by global warming, or the melting of a permafrost layer under the lake, which may have caused extra seepage.

Lake Waiau Photo: Wikimedia


Fifty years ago, this lake lying between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan had been the fourth largest lake in the world, but by 2004, it lost 90% of its water.

Aral Sea Photo: Wikimedia


The water level of the Dead Sea, bordered by Israel and Jordan, has been dropping so that over the last decade, the lake separated into two lakes, and the southern part is gradually drying up.

Dead Sea Photo: Wikimedia


In 1960, Lake Chad in Africa had a surface area of 25 thousand square kilometres, but due to global warming and increasingly intense irrigation along the Chari and the Logone rivers, it dropped to 8 thousand square kilometres by 2008.

Lake Chad Photo: Wikimedia


The Great Lakes are also at risk: sadly, since 1999, the quantity of their water dropped by 2.5 million gallons. The destruction of the ecosystem is primarily attributable to water transport in the area.

Great Lakes Photo: Thinkprogress


The Indus River has been exploited heavily for centuries, and it is at a particularly high risk due to global warming, as the river receives its water from continuously receding Himalayan glaciers.

Indus River Photo: Wikimedia


The Rio Grande is one of the longest rivers in the world, but sadly its watershed has been much reduced recently. Due to diversion of the water on both banks, the riverbed has dried to such an extent that in times it is filled with sand bars and it doesn’t even reach the Gulf of Mexico.

Rio Grande Photo: Wikimedia

Major cities that could share the fate of Cape Town

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.

Innovative solution: The Water Retainer in Morocco

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.

What will become of you, Africa?

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.

Water scarcity leading to political conflict

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.

Hundreds of Australian towns face water crisis

Up to 180 thousand people may be left without drinking water due to the severe drought.

Water shortage threatens the Panama Canal

Extreme drought is putting one of the world’s most important trade routes at risk.

Extremely low water levels on the River Maros

The characteristic sand banks of the river have grown larger, some branches have dried out completely.

Millions left without water in Zimbabwe

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.

European farming could suffer 16 percent loss by 2050 due to climate change

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.

One of the driest and warmest summers in Germany

This year’s was the third hottest summer in Germany since the beginning of regular meteorological records in 1881, according to preliminary data from the Federal Meteorological Service.