What The Public Thinks.
The city of Lahore is not currently facing water scarcity as such, but it is a fact that the groundwater table is being reduced very rapidly. To increase the level of the water table in Lahore, the government should monitor illegal water connections. Secondly, water can be conserved by imposing water restrictions on users. Thirdly, we will have to look into injecting sewage, after initial treatment, into groundwater sources as it is successfully being done in Israel and South Africa. We also need to increase the level of expertise of officials working on water management.
Khalid, Lahore, Pakistan
No! We are not doing enough to conserve the world's water supply. While people are dying throughout the Third World due to lack of water, we in the West are using perfectly clean drinking water to flush our toilets. In the future water will become more valuable than oil.
Peter, Toronto, Canada
Water is scarce. There is already a war between the southern states in India. Conserve water; when there is rain, collect and save it.
The question of sustainability of global water resources hinges on the question of sustainable irrigation. Today, more than 70% of global fresh water resources are used for irrigation. It is now time to think seriously (and urgently) about research on irrigation management and how to export cheap but efficient irrigation technologies to developing countries. Time is running out fast.
Mutlu, Boston, USA
In poor countries underground water is the main source of drinking water. But in many cases underground water is used for cultivation. In a country like India there are many "unauthorized deep tube wells", used for cultivation. This makes the entire region water-scarce. Pollution is also an important reason.
Pradip, Kolkata, India
Call me cynical if you will, but perhaps if we poured less water onto golf courses and more onto arable land, wouldn't this help to alleviate the water-shortages that developed nations are starting to suffer from more and more each year?
Ian, Los Angeles, USA
I live in a region where water is not a problem fortunately. However I do not think it'd be a reason for using too much water when I do not have to. My mother has been teaching me the importance of water since I was born, and now I can understand it by myself every day more. Lots of countries are not as lucky as I am, and I want to live respecting them also because I do think that "respect" is one of the most important values in life. I do not really know what we could do to help those countries - the only thing I'm sure of is that I'll do everything to transmit to my children this important value.
First of all, fresh water rights should be given to everyone. This lack of easy access to clean water is perhaps the greatest cause of death and hardship in our world today. Denial must be confronted. There are criminally wasteful water practices that are widely accepted today. A global crisis in clean water can be averted - simply instruct the political leadership on the value of conserving water, and respecting ordinary people.
Marco, Boulder, USA
I am a Malaysian doing some voluntary teaching in Madurai. Here is a city whose rural area is extensive. There are numerous ponds full of water scattered all over. But people not only neglect them but dump rubbish and sewage into these waterholes. There is great water shortage here and it would help if volunteer groups could contribute to changing these attitudes.
Navaratnam, Madurai Tamil Nadu, India
We need rain water harvesting and to use sea water to flush toilets in coastal areas. 60% of the world population live in coastal areas. We also need an efficient use of water in agriculture.
Krishnamurthy, Hyderabad, India
Why don't the rich Arab countries try to help each other more? I saw some gorgeous green golf courses and green lawns during my years in the wealthy Gulf Arab states. Mind you it rains very little in these countries, so the water must be coming from somewhere. Why are the western countries always criticized for not doing more? Many billions of dollars live in the Middle East. Hold these countries more accountable.
The problem with the UN "doing something" about the water shortage (or anything else) is that it would involve the UN, or more specifically the so-called West, taking control of aspects of life in sovereign countries. Also, people in rich countries may use more water but it is then mostly recycled through sewage plants and pumped back out into the original water source, so it is not really wasted.
The main reason for water shortages in India is population growth. Ground water is now used at an alarming rate. Green cover has been reduced considerably, thus compounding the problem. Economic realities in the current environment hopefully would act as a disincentive for having larger families. A multi-faceted approach is necessary to solve this complex issue.
Vinai, Toronto, Canada
There are only two problems: too many human beings and too much waste of water - everywhere. Solve these basic problems and there will be no need for water to ever be scarce.
Tony, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
No! With the trillions of dollars spent to kill people, we should really be looking at spending trillions of dollars to save people. The rich are too rich and the poor are too poor. This must change in order for humanity to prevail.
Big Hill, Vancouver, Canada
Las Vegas is a desert, with a high yesterday of 109 degrees. We are experiencing our worst drought on record, yet Las Vegas has 63 golf courses. Americans are oblivious to how precious water is.
Steve, Las Vegas, Nevada
This most precious of resources should be managed by each state, and not by avid (thirsty?) multinationals. Why don't you investigate why some powerful countries are trying to convince Uruguay to privatise its water resources? Is it because this little country sits on top of one of the biggest aquifers in the world? As most commentators say, "Water is tomorrow's oil" and wars will be fought over it.
Vic, Montevideo (Uruguay)
In the case of my country Bangladesh, we have enough water but we don't have access to safe water because of mismanagement and a lack of proper sustainable policy. Industrial dumping in rivers and a lack of a monitoring system to regulate water resources, coupled with a lack of social awareness and weak and corrupt institutions make this situation worse. Add to this the international dimension, namely that we don't get our proper share from international rivers which run through India. Mohammad Haroon, Dhaka, Bangladesh
When is it going to be made absolutely clear that water is a finite resource? There is only so much fresh water on this planet, much of it locked up in sources unavailable to us. We in the West are horribly wasteful of a limited resource. Every civilised country should have water meters installed in homes. We can't live without water; it's priceless and we should pay for every drop we use.
Jenny, Isle of Mull
Water should not be a commodity obtainable in exchange for money. Right now, it is not Third World nations that are using water the most, it is first world nations.
Eric, Montreal, Canada
Yes, we certainly live in a water-scarce and a water wasting region. We are hoping to use the fog that gathers off the Peruvian coast, which then blows inland and eventually just vanishes into space. Just think of the "oceans" of water lost daily by not using simple methods. We also intend to harvest good clean water from condensation. Our efforts should be of interest to the forthcoming World Environment Day. Let us hope that this time, someone somewhere will be listening to our call for a helping hand.
Anthony, Arequipa, Peru.
We are already witnessing the use of water as a weapon. The destruction of Iraqi water purification and treatment plants followed by 10 years of sanctions and the Israeli occupation of the water rich areas outside its borders are two very clear examples. Allowing the capitalist model to gain control of the world's most precious natural resource is the fast track to slavery. Provide people with the means to meet their own water needs and never allow a corporate entity to control the essence of life.
Lanny, Olympia, USA
I don't know if we have a shortage of clean water. But we most certainly do have a surplus of people competing for fewer and fewer resources which will be our undoing, unless we curb population growth immediately.
Mike, Seattle, USA
I live in an area that has been in a drought for five years, yet the area has supposedly been getting wetter over the past 30 years. Why? The reason is population. What is happening in Utah is a small example of what is happening all over the world. The problem is not necessarily scarcity of water or poor management (though that is a problem), but overpopulation. The UN should be looking at ways to implement zero population initiatives around the world.
Stephen, Utah, United States
Living in a water-scarce with rationing being a common feature in our community, I firmly believe that the companies involved in the provision of water and sewerage should be privatised. I advocate this because of several reasons, corruption being at the top of the list. The state should, however, provide a subsidy to the citizens in terms of connectivity and per unit consumption.
Maji, Tanga, Tanzania
It amazes me that every time there is a mention of scarce resources, the blame falls on America and the UK. Everyone bemoans the fact that Africa in particular suffers the most. Why should the USA and UK pay? Time for Africans to face their own problem.
Mike, Durban, South Africa
According to some estimates, the cost of implementing the Kyoto protocol each year will be as great as the one-off cost of providing clean drinking water and sanitation to every single human being, forever. The problem is not one of water scarcity, but of the availability of infrastructure to store and deliver it. While politicians continue to be diverted by the global warming fallacy, this issue is unlikely to be addressed.
Keith, Somerset, UK
No. This problem falls on the shoulders of powerful governments like the US. Instead of intervening only where their interests are at stake, they could send their marines to dig wells and build irrigation ditches. This will never happen since "internationalism" is a curse word in that country.
Esteban, Asuncion, Paraguay