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Global Challenge of water scarcity UPSC NOTE

 Global challenge of water scarcity and how it can be a threat to peace and prosperity

  • Water scarcity is a growing threat to peace and prosperity around the world.

  • As freshwater supplies dwindle, competition for this vital resource intensifies. 

  • This can lead to tensions between individuals, communities, and even countries.

  • Chances of tensions especially in regions with shared water resources like rivers or aquifers.

  • Water scarcity can displace people from their homes, particularly farmers who rely on predictable water supplies for their livelihoods. 

  • This displacement can strain resources in other areas and potentially lead to conflict over land and water.

  • When water is scarce, it becomes more difficult to maintain sanitation and hygiene.

  • Further leads to a rise in waterborne diseases.

  • Water scarcity can cripple agriculture, a crucial sector for many economies

  • This economic strain can further destabilize regions.

  • Water scarcity often disproportionately affects the poorest and most marginalized communities.

  • This lack of access to water can exacerbate existing inequalities and social unrest.

Examples of Water Scarcity and Conflict,

  • The Tigris and Euphrates rivers, vital water sources for Turkey, Syria, and Iraq, are a flashpoint for tension as water levels decline.

  • Similarly, the Nile River, which runs through several African countries, is a source of potential conflict as upstream nations develop dams and irrigation projects.

Pathways to Peace and Prosperity:

  • CooperationInternational cooperation on water management is crucial

  • Sharing data, developing treaties for shared water resources, and investing in joint infrastructure projects can help to ensure equitable and sustainable water use.

  • Conservation: Implementing water-saving practices in agriculture, industry, and households is essential to reduce demand

  • This includes promoting rainwater harvesting and efficient irrigation techniques.

  • Investment in Infrastructure: Upgrading water treatment facilities, repairing leaky pipes, and developing new water sources like desalination plants can improve water security.

  • Conflict Resolution: Mechanisms for resolving water disputes peacefully are necessary to prevent tensions from escalating into violence.

Rural India’s needs

  • Rural India's water needs are multifaceted, encompassing both quantity and quality

  • Access to clean, safe drinking water is a primary concern. 

  • Many villages rely on handpumps or wells that can run dry during summers or be contaminated with pollutants like arsenic or fluoride.

  • Agriculture is the backbone of rural India's economy. 

  • But unpredictable rainfall and overextraction of groundwater threaten irrigation, impacting crop yields and livelihoods.

  • Water is essential for daily chores like washing clothes, cleaning utensils, and maintaining hygiene. 

  • Scarcity forces rural households to spend a significant amount of time and effort collecting water, limiting their time for other activities.

  • Water is vital for animals like cows, buffaloes, and goats, which are a source of income and sustenance for many rural families. 

  • Water scarcity can affect their health and productivity.

Initiatives to Address Water Needs:

  • The Indian government has launched several initiatives to improve rural water security, such as:

  1. Jal Jeevan Mission: Aims to provide piped drinking water to every rural household by 2024.

  2. Focus on rainwater harvesting: Encourages communities to collect and store rainwater to supplement groundwater.

  3. Micro-irrigation projects: Promote water-efficient irrigation techniques like drip irrigation.


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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Global Challenge of water scarcity UPSC NOTE
Global Challenge of water scarcity UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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