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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.

Eastern Germany at the risk of water shortages

Drought had already reduced the water yield of many natural waters in Germany drastically last year, but this year, due to the record heat wave sweeping across Europe, experts are warning about the possibility of actual water shortages in some areas.

The poor must fight for every drop of water in India

The Indian water shortage resulting from unprecedented drought intensifies already significant social inequality.

The UN is worried about climate apartheid

Philip Alston, a UN expert on human rights claims that the world will soon face the risk of climate apartheid, as we are progressing towards a future in which only the rich will have the opportunity to escape the negative consequences of global warming while the poor suffer from the heat and famines.

Temperatures in Israel increase by 0.25 degrees Celsius per decade

According to a study published in the International Journal of Climatology, Israel’s average temperature has been rising continuously since the proclamation of the Middle Eastern state in 1948, but over the last thirty years the rate of warming has also increased.

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.

Crisis: millions hit by water shortages in India

In some parts of southern India, the water situation has become critical: in Chennai, a city with five million inhabitants and the capital of Tamil Nadu state (and the country’s sixth largest city) there has been a water shortage for weeks.

Wild animals auctioned in Namibia because of drought

The lack of rain early this year has resulted in the most severe drought in the history of Namibia: the government declared a state of emergency in May. Five hundred thousand people are at the risk of not having enough food, not to mention the domestic and wild animals in the region.

Crisis in South Sudan caused by drought

Up to 7 million people may reach a hopeless food situation in the East African country according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

Lost treasure: are water shortages a global or a local problem?

24 years ago, the UN designated June 17th as World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought. The importance and the relevance of the topic is marked by the fact that water shortage is one of the main themes of this year’s greatest event in diplomacy, the Budapest Water Summit 2019.

Warming can directly affect the risk of armed conflicts

A new study published in Nature, authored by 11 internationally recognised experts on climate and military conflicts has looked at the impact of the global increase in temperature on the incidence of armed conflicts.

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