2 Requirements for the Sustainability of Water Systems

Water is essential for civilization. Water-related disasters include the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2004 and 2005 hurricanes in the west Pacific, in the Caribbean and the United States, the 2005 floods in Central/Eastern Europe and in many other regions, the extensive droughts in Mali, Niger, Spain and Portugal, the 2010 cloudburst in Ladhak in India and the 2010 floods in Pakistan and India.

While the developed countries enjoy stable populations, the developing countries are experiencing rapid population growth/shifts in urban areas. In many rapidly growing cities it is difficult to build the required infrastructure to meet growing demand. In many parts of the world, internally displaced and international refugees, migrants and tourists are exerting a stress on water supplies.

Water is a global issue. Countries engage in trading products rather than the physical transportation of water itself. As a result, billions of tonnes of water will remain where it is abundant. Some water-scarce nations, which include countries in the Middle East, are net importers of water to meet the needs of their growing populations. This is also true of many European nations, due to consumer tastes for particular foods and products (Hoekstra, 2011).

The top 11 global water consumers are India – 13%; China – 12%; US – 9%; Russia – 4%; Indonesia – 4%; Nigeria – 3%; Brazil – 3%; Pakistan 2%; Japan 2%; Mexico 2% and Thailand 2%. Nations with ...

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