It is well known that the global human population is growing faster than the water supply. Investigators recently analyzed various models and trends to assess both optimistic and pessimistic projections of future water use and shortages.
"Historically, water supply has grown through alternating periods of rapid growth and stagnation, and we now seem to be entering a new period of stagnation while the population continues to grow," said Dr.Anthony Parolari, lead author of the WIREs Water article. "To avoid water scarcity from this point forward, the alternatives include further water supply improvements through technological innovation, or we may need to consider more seriously the concept of a sustainable rate of global water use."
AdvertisementWith the world's population expected to hit 9.6 billion by 2050, whether mankind can adapt to receding water supplies depends on whether we can develop newer technologies to find water are developed. Water shortages and severe drought are already prevalent in places like Sao Paulo, Brazil, where residents hoarding water in their apartments following a drought, and also California, which is entering its fourth year of drought.
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, whenever there was water scarcity, especially during the expansion of cities such as London and Paris, various technological solutions like expanding the network of water pipelines to pump in water other places, helped a great deal. "We can resolve our current problems if we find improved ways of desalination, for instance removing salt from sea water to produce fresh drinking water," said Parolari.