Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

Are you familiar with the hydrological James Bond ratio?

Of the total stock of Earth’s water, only 0.007 percent is on the surface, that amount is easily accessible, not excessively polluted and ready for almost immediate use. That’s what we call the hydrological James Bond ratio, said Csaba Kőrösi, who also spoke about Hungary’s water shortage on World Water Day 2019.

Csaba Kőrösi, Head of the Environmental Sustainability Directorate, Office of the President of the Republic of Hungary revealed the secret of the hydrological James Bond ratio, illustrated in the figure below, in an interview on Hungary’s national public television channel. In the figure, the large drop of water represents the mass of the total amount of water on Earth relative to Earth itself. The drop in the middle represents all the freshwater, while the smallest one corresponds to surface freshwater. That is what we all share, and that is why it is time to take action.

The hydrological James Bond ratio Image: Imagine Creative Consulting

In the interview, Csaba Kőrösi also said that in Hungary, the population has a secure water supply, with significant reserves, but water shortages do occur in agriculture, for example.

“Two years ago, a drought of three weeks caused damage in excess of 100 billion forints. In the Sand Ridge region, for instance, the water table is dropping by 10–15 cm per year, and unless something is done, the region will become a desert within 15–20 years.

So Hungary does have water shortages, and saving water must have its place,”

emphasised the director, adding that as producing clean water requires energy, those who ‘throw away’ water, that is to say don’t save it are also wasting energy.

What’s more, Hungary also has a major pollution problem, so in relation to that it must be kept in mind that a single drop of oil can make up to a thousand litres of water unfit for consumption.

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.

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.

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.