As summer is hotting up (or trying to) in the UK, we’re hearing a lot of talk around hose pipes, paddling pools, and water balloon fun. Now, let’s get one thing straight, as much as we love to save water, we know how important it is to relax and let loose in the summertime. We have a luxury in the UK that we can fill a paddling pool and take a refreshing dip. Not all nations have that, but it doesn’t mean we should do it every time the temperature goes above 15°C. We’re going to look at how water-scarce countries are conserving water before taking influence from them to create some water-saving summer fun.
What is water scarcity?
In some areas of the world, nations struggle to supply residents with water. This isn’t necessarily due to a lack of infrastructure or resources. Countries like Australia and South Africa have had water scarcity issues in previous years in seemingly wealthy areas like Melbourne and Cape Town. If you read our previous blog about our water supply here in the UK, you’ll already be aware of the fine balancing act. This occurs around the world, but not every country is as lucky as us to have so much rainfall throughout the year. Even in the summer, we experience huge downfalls.
Water scarcity simply means that the demand for water is higher than the resource available. It might shock you to know that most countries in the world face water scarcity – including the UK. The only difference is that in some places this is nothing new and water scarcity has been an issue for decades.
Who are the most water-scarce countries?
You may already have an idea where the water-scarce countries of the world are. It’s where the climate is hot and dry, namely northern Africa and central Asia. Some nations will face water scarcity issues due to financial implications, but some on this list will surprise you as they are far from third world nations. Take a look:
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates
Of course, more countries fall into the ‘extremely high’ risk level category, but this demonstrates a wide variety of nations. Some incredibly wealthy, others with high-quality resources. It’s more often a case of managing supply and demand. This is why residents of these nations have been educated about conserving water for decades.
How are water-scarce countries managing their supply?
The same way we grow up knowing it’s better to have your raincoat on your person – just in case – children in these nations are learning to use less water from a young age. Lana Mazahreh grew up in Jordan. In her Ted Talk, she speaks fondly of how she enjoyed summer, without the luxury of paddling pools and hose pipes.
Years ago, Melbourne Australia faced a water shortage problem, so they told their residents exactly how much water they had left. Digital billboards around the city and on the motorways would tell people how much water was left day by day. A regular update. What’s more, they gave out water-saving showerheads to the entire city so everyone could conserve water. Remember if you’re a Greenredeem Thames Water member, you can claim your showerhead in your activities area.
Namibia is one of the most water-scarce countries in the world, it has been for many years. Their secret? They’ve been recycling water to such as standard, that it is safe to drink. While we can’t do that at home, it does leave us asking. Are we recycling enough of the water in our homes? Especially as we could use it for summer fun.
Is water scarcity an issue in the UK?
It’s clear that summers are getting warmer each year. Especially here in the UK. Global warming is taking its toll and naturally, water is going to become more of a precious resource than it already is. While we’re not currently a water-scarce country, we’re not in a position of water luxury either, and the next few decades are crucial. This is why it’s worthwhile thinking about how you can reduce demand during the summer months. Keep your eyes open for water-less fun on our blog next time.