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Water shortages will ‘go global’ in seven years

13 April 2018

GFA

Children in India carry water from a “Jesus well” built by Gospel for Asia

Children in India carry water from a “Jesus well” built by Gospel for Asia

IN THE next seven years, half the world’s population will be living with water shortages, a new report suggests.

Eleven of the world’s great cities — including London, Beijing, and Moscow — will face “water stress” in the next few years, the report Global Clean Water Crisis, published by the mission agency Gospel for Asia, warns.

The report’s warnings are based on projections of the water crisis endorsed by the United Nations.

London — which draws 80 per cent of its water from the Thames and Lea rivers — has a waste rate of 25 per cent, and is predicted to suffer serious shortages by 2020.

The water crisis experienced in Cape Town this year will be replicated around the world, as the reality of the water crisis spreads from developing countries to the most urbanised countries.

The report’s author, Karen Mains, said: “The thriving city of Cape Town has become the poster city for what, if the necessary correctives are not applied, will be water-scarcity crises duplicated in other large cities worldwide. Even now, that crisis is a reality for millions living in a world where the alarming estimate is that by 2025 half the world’s populations will be living in water-stressed areas.”

Her study points to urban sprawl, lack of urban planning, and flooding as just some of the factors behind the “water problems of the world”.

“More than two billion people globally use a drinking-water source contaminated by human waste, causing widespread sickness and even death, and often further impoverishing many who struggle to eke out a living because they can be too poorly to work. Many ‘well-meaning’ efforts to help have not always been successful; for example, some 50,000 wells drilled in Africa lie broken and abandoned because there is no one to maintain them,” she said.

Gospel for Asia is building “Jesus wells” — 6822 so far in South Asia — near churches, where they are maintained in good repair by the pastors of those churches. The wells are dug deep enough to ensure a continuous supply of clean water, and serve an average of 300 people a day.

In areas where the water is not safe to drink, the mission agency is building bio-sand filters to filter out impurities and make the water safe. This was part of its “Christ-like response to the global water crisis”, its founder, Dr K. P. Yohannan, said.

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