The map of water scarcity that threatens half the world

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Although there is the idea that Colombia is one of the nations with more water resources on the planet, the truth is that, according to a publication of the World Economic Forum, in reality this country suffers from economic water scarcity.

The document The economy of water will become increasingly important, dividing the regions of the world into three groups: the first is that of those areas with physical water shortages; that is, where the demand is greater than the supply of the vital liquid.

In the second group there are those who have enough water or very little shortage and in the third group those who suffer from economic water shortages – there is Colombia – which means that, although they have availability, for some economic reason they can not use fully water sources (extraction costs or contaminated water, etc.). In addition, they do not have enough infrastructure to make the water drinkable.



Author of the document and who writes for the Forum from Salmon Blog, points out that many regions of the world today are in what is called “water stress”, due to the demographic and economic growth, which imply a greater consumption of potable water and in turn more contamination of water sources.

He estimates that currently 36% of the world population lives in areas under “water stress”.

Although one might think that domestic consumption is the main factor of demand and contamination of the vital fluid, it is actually the industrialist who uses more water and the one who most dirtifies it.

Author indicates that the extraction of water for irrigation represents 66% of the total used, the other 34% is used by households (10%), industry (20%) and evaporated from deposits (4%).

In Colombia, the National Water Study of Ideam, which is from 2015, shows that the total demand amounts to 35,987 cubic millimeters, which is equivalent to filling 28 times the volume of the Betania reservoir, while the sector of greatest demand is the agricultural, with 46.6%, followed by energy (21.5%), livestock (8.5%) and domestic (8.2%).

In Latin America the problem is that less than 20% of the population has access to adequate sanitation systems, while in Colombia, according to the Ideam study, water distribution is unequal, since in the Magdalena-Cauca hydrographic areas and the Caribbean, where 80% of the population is located and 80% of GDP is produced, is only 21% of the total surface water supply. That is, where there is more water available, fewer people live and vice versa. An environmental alert every day more worrying.

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