The 13 Major Cities Most Likely To Run Out Of Drinking Water – Some Of These Will Surprise You. Photo – Unsplash (PD)
Does your city have a safe and reliable water supply? The truth might shock you. In the light of recent concerns over water shortages in these 13 major cities, including some of the worlds prosperous financial centers, you might want to start learning water survival techniques…
In contrast to food, which, according to the general rule of thumb, you can survive for about 3 weeks without (though obviously becoming progressively weaker and less capable towards the end) – without water you only have a few days at best. This survival time is highly variable depending on conditions such as temperature. There are some desert regions in which it is reported that you have perhaps one day to find water.
It seems astonishing that there could be genuine water shortages on a planet whose surface is around 71% water-covered. However most of this water is unavailable for human use. 96.5% of the Earth’s water is in the ocean – thus salty. Of the other 3.5%, increasing agricultural and human demands, together with dry spells, have taxed fresh water supplies heavily in some areas. An astonishing over one billion people lack access to usable water. This seems incomprehensible to those who have a seemingly unending supply of water on tap. But the problem is getting worse, with the UN estimating that by 2030 the global demand for fresh water will outstrip supply by 40% – a colossal amount.
It’s thus an extremely good survival strategy – arguably more important than food – to learn how to store, purify and collect water. Water is life.
Here is the list of cities most likely to run out of drinking water:
1. Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is considered the #1 at-risk major city for running out of water. Serious water conservation programs have now been enforced, with desalination plants, water collection and recycling, and requests for the city’s 4 million inhabitants to restrict their water use.
2. Bangalore, India
This city is considered #2 on the danger list for running out of water. The combination of spectacular urban growth, pollution of lakes and antiquated infrastructure, has led to a scenario where the city’s water and sewage systems are struggling to keep up with demand. Outdated plumbing is probably the worst issue, with an estimated over 50% of the water being wasted as a result of leaks.
3. Sao Paolo, Brazil
Drought conditions between 2014 and 2017 created a water crisis where at one point, 21.7 million inhabitants had less than 20 days water left. Financial mismanagement was also thought partly responsible for the crisis.
4. Mexico City
This massive city of 21 million has ongoing water shortages, with many people getting running water from their taps for perhaps a few hours of the week. Mexico City also has no large-scale water recycling operation.
5. Beijing, China
China, home to some 20% of the world’s human population, has only 7% of the world’s fresh water. This, together with Beijing’s pollution problem – rendering 40% of the surface water unfit for even agricultural or industrial use – has led to a major shortage of available water.
6. Cairo, Egypt
Cairo has a big problem with water pollution, with critical shortages estimated by the UN to it by 2025.
7. Rome, Italy
In 2017, rainfall in Rome, the majestic Italian city, was down 70% from the previous three years, leading to cuts in water pressure and the turning off of the Vatican’s 100 fountains. Italian water company Acea has stepped up, claiming to have plugged 1300 water leaks and checked 90% of the city’s pipes during the summer of 2017, but this region is critically dependent on adequate rainfall. Longer dry spells in future could create a worse situation.
8. Jakarta, Indonesia
Less than 50% of the city’s 10 million residents have access to piped water, leading to widespread digging of renegade wells, which drain the aquifers seriously. The problem has been exacerbated by the prevalence of concrete, which prevents absorption and replenishment, despite heavy rains, more of which run off to the sea.
Russia has very large natural fresh worlds, owning some 25% of the global supply – however there are significant pollution problems left over from unregulated industrial activity of the 20th century. Moscow depends on this fresh water, but 35% to 60% of Russian drinking water reserves are estimated not to meet sanitary standards.
This city of 14 million inhabitants has been experiencing shortages in the dry season, with the country’s overall water supply decreasing and demand increasing and a 10-month drought causing lakes to dry out completely.
Thinking of the typical British wet weather, one would not think of London as being a city prone to water shortage. However London rainfall is actually less than that of both Paris and New York. Most of London’s water is drawn from the river Thames and it is estimated that London will have supply problems by 2025.
The Japanese city does have great overall rainfall, however it is concentrated into a rainy season. Tokyo has been forward-thinking with rainwater collection systems, which are utilized in many of the city’s buildings – however drier than usual rainy seasons could cause problems for the city’s 30 million inhabitants.
Although Miami is one of the rainiest cities in the USA, seawater has been contaminating the Biscayne Aquifer, the city’s main fresh water source, for many decades. Ocean level rises have exacerbated the problem and other Florida cities have also experienced saltwater intrusion into their wells.
Do you have a survival stash of drinking water? How long would you manage if supplies ran out?
See also our tutorial: 18 Superb Ways To Save Water In Your Home
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Graphic – off-grid.info. Images – Unsplash (PD)
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