The IPCC technical report on climate change and water concluded that scores of dry regions, including the Mediterranean and southern Africa, are going to suffer seriously from reduced rainfall and increased evaporation, and that approximately one billion individuals in dry regions may face increasing water scarcity.
What was unclear though was the degree to which this will happen, or even if the climate will become drier or wetter in most regions. Current models are also unable to show much about future declines in regional groundwater resources due to a lack of research, which is quite astounding seeing that approximately 50% of the global domestic water supply comes from groundwater.
While scientists are still coming to terms with current situations and trying to find the best models to predict future trends in fresh water scarcity, it has become very clear that whatever future strategies are envisaged, they need to be adaptable so that they can be effective no matter the scenario.
Civilisation is facing fresh water scarcity like no time before in history, and the causes of this are manifold; a burgeoning global population requires more agriculture, higher water usage for irrigation purposes and more water pollution. Many individuals, especially in richer countries, are living water-rich lifestyles, with huge gardens, lush lawns, swimming-pools, and various technologies that require the use of water. Add to this the increased industry demanded by developing economies and the direct impact of climate change, and we have a recipe for disaster.
There is no more time for dilly-dallying; every single occupant of this planet needs to take responsibility for saving water, recycling grey water and not wasting it via bad maintenance of water pipes and taps in our homes, taking long showers, and setting sprinklers on for hours on end. We all need to understand the simple fact that water is life, and if we do not have sufficient fresh water we will become extinct!