The research promoted and managed by our Observatory on food, health and the environment continue. Today we deal with water, climate change and drought.
The serious water problem that is afflicting our country is there for all to see and we have investigated why beyond the causes related to climate change.
Water scarcity and drought are the main challenges facing humanity today. In many regions of the world, water is a scarce and precious resource that requires efficient management. However, the formation of water and drought management consortia has proved largely inefficient. These consortia, made up of various government bodies and private organizations, often lack coordination and fail to create effective strategies for managing water scarcity. As a result, water scarcity and drought persist, posing significant threats to both the environment and human populations. The ineffectiveness of these consortia highlights the need for more efficient and coordinated approaches to tackling water and drought problems.
Inefficient water management as a cause of drought
About 41% of our invaluable resource is lost through distribution networks, which was once considered one of the many challenges our nation faces. However, this problem can no longer be ignored as it is urgent to address it to alleviate the effects of drought.
The United Nations made a significant announcement on July 28, 2010. The declaration recognized that the universal and fundamental human right to access clean water should be granted to all citizens from their respective countries.
The announcement also required governments to provide affordable, high-quality water to all, which should be quickly accessible within reasonable proximity to their housing. These actions would allow people from all walks of life to have access to this vital element. As a means of immediate survival rather than a commodity, water is an undeniable right of every individual. The resolution further reinforced this idea by stating that access to water and sanitation is directly linked to improving an individual’s physical and mental health, as well as respecting his or her right to a dignified life.
Water as a right of living beings, climate change and drought
The recognition of the right to water has strengthened the position of nations that already recognized it in their legal systems. It has not led to any significant legislative progress in other countries nor has it led to a significant improvement in the situation of those deprived of access to water.
Bolivia has been the driving force behind the international recognition of this right, with its inclusion in the country’s Constitution in 2009. This recognition serves as a powerful weapon for supporters of the right to water in political discussions.
The United Nations has reported that no noteworthy alterations have been observed in the legislation of several nations or in the progress of the quality and accessibility of this vital resource. It is difficult to determine the exact number of countries that will achieve Goal 6 of the UN 2030 Agenda, considering factors such as insufficient financial support and lack of political determination.
Water scarcity, poor water quality and poor sanitation have disastrous consequences on livelihood choices, educational opportunities and food security in poor communities around the world. It is estimated that countries including Namibia, Nicaragua and Eritrea will have to endure another half millennium before gaining universal access to sanitation.
An underwater art museum to protect the great barrier reef
In low- and middle-income countries, poverty-related diseases persist and cause high numbers of victims. UNESCO reports that every day more than 1,000 children die from diseases such as respiratory tract infections and dysentery, which contribute to chronic malnutrition. Providing access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation could prevent a large percentage of these cases. Water, climate change and drought emergencies that must be solved yesterday!
Water is a commonly ignored source of conflict and instability, referred to as blue gold because of its value. The World Bank has collected records of 507 continuous conflicts concerning water management. These problems occur globally, in regions such as the Middle East, Latin America, Iraq, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Congo.
Competition for water resources and control of areas along major river systems where communities depend on them for survival has led to numerous violent clashes. It is crucial and urgent to adopt a systemic approach in addressing the global ecological and social dilemma, which could prevent the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals outlined in the United Nations Agenda by 2030. The international community must ensure that everyone has access to affordable drinking water and sanitation and sustainably managed, according to Goal 6 of the Agenda.
But what do companies, the state, do?
Despite the urgent need for action, states are neglecting vital interventions to address water scarcity. There is a lack of political will, investment in infrastructure and recognition of this resource as essential. Unfortunately, essential considerations such as nature rights and environmental protection do not take priority. In Italy, responsibility for the management and maintenance of water networks is entrusted to specialized consortia.
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