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Water scarcity: a major future problem

Water is so obvious to us that we can’t even imagine that we would ever run out. Yet a global water crisis looms in the future. The World Health Organization (WHO) even states that by 2025 half (!) of the world’s population will live in areas with permanent water scarcity. What are the causes and consequences of water scarcity? And can we still turn the tide?

Why is lack of access to clean water problematic?

Water scarcity in the world

Unicef’s report “Thirsting for a Future” shows that 36 countries currently have an extreme shortage of water. Recently, major cities such as São Paulo (Brazil), Chennai (India) and Cape Town (South Africa) suffered from acute water shortages. Cape Town narrowly escaped Day Zero last year: the day when not a drop would come out of the tap.

In the future there will problably be more Days Zero,” Betsy Otto from Amerikaanse World Resource Institute (WRI) states. The WRI states that water stress is highest in the Middle East and North Africa – with Qatar as absolute number one.

Causes of water scarcity

Water scarcity is caused by a complex set of fluctuating, interacting human and ecological factors. First of all, water scarcity is due to climate change. The increasing periods of persistent heat is caused by global warming, leads to water sources drying out. In addition, the availability and quality of water is also threathend by floods, which are caused by rising sea levels due to climate change.

Then there is, of course, the water wastage and water pollution on a large scale, which reduces the availability of (safe) water even more. Contrast all these problems with a growing world population and water scarcity emerges.

Clean water for all

That is our mission and you can contribute to it in many ways:

Donate water to a person or familiy.
Offset your water use.
Tap chilled and sparkling water at work.
Order customizable sustainable water bottles.
Save on water in your hotel.
Serve locally bottled water in your restaurant.

Consequences of water scarcity

Without water we can’t live. We therefore see that in areas where there is water scarcity, the population starts using polluted water. This leads to diseases such as diarrhea, worms or cholera, sometimes even resulting in death. Although diarrhea sounds quite harmless to us, it is still the number 1 cause of death among children under the age of 5 in developing countries.

But water scarcity also indirectly leads to poverty. After all, you cannot go to school or work when you (serioulsy) ill. This is affecting mainly women and young girls, who are mostly in charge of fetching water.

Water wars

Another problem that arises in areas where there is water scarcity is the threat of conflicts. In recent decades, Iran and Turkey have built hundreds of dams in the Middle East to meet their water needs. Other countries in the region, especially Iraq and Syria, paid a high price for this: drought, social turmoil and conflicts.

Here you can see a video from Trouw that explains how relations between countries in the Middle East are becoming tense due to water scarcity.

36 countries suffer from extreme water shortages at this moment.


How to fight water scarcity?

All this information does not really paint a bright future for water. However, the good news is that there is still much to gain in the area of seawater desalination and water-saving measures in agriculture. Also more and more technological innovations arise in the field of water-saving and water purification.

The WHO states that the management of water resources will become increasingly important in the future, and we should also look at alternative water sources, such as the reuse of waste water.


Access to clean water and sanitation is the sixth item on the list of the Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations in 2015.

We believe that in the future we will find ways to continue to meet our water needs. But we want that for everyone. That is why we are committed to helping those for whom water scarcity is already a problem today. We do this in areas where the government does not plan or is unable to install a safe water supply. Today we start the future of tomorrow: a future with clean drinking water for everyone.

Contribute to clean water for all

We are the Made Blue Foundation.
Our mission is clean water for all.
Will you help us achieve our mission?
You can do so in more ways than you might think.

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