But I’d hardly call that a silver lining — the most populated areas on the planet face severe water shortages, and political turmoil won’t be far behind.Food shortages played a role in instigating the current protests — water shortages may bring the next.As you can see, most of these nations are located around North Africa and the Middle East — areas where political tensions are already high, and instability runs rampant.I was surprised not to see Yemen on the list, seeing as how the nation is notoriously water-strapped — some predict that Sanaa will be the first capital city in the world to run out of water.This map of water scarcity shows the extent of the problem — the crisis areas are in red: Note that there are a bunch of severely threatened areas far outside of the Middle East and Africa that face impending water scarcity, too — and one of them is right in the good ol’ US of A.New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada have long struggled with getting their populations adequate water — and they’re only growing. The nations with the most secure water supplies are Canada, Sweden, Guyana and Russia.Today is World Water Day, a global event aimed at raising awareness of international water issues.
It’s a gargantuan undertaking to be sure, but if this issue isn’t addressed, much of the world will be painfully thirsty in coming years.The report noted that severe water insecurity could lead to increased political tension, strife, and unrest.Maplecroft analyzed 160 nations, and these were the worst off when it comes to water.Those unsustainable population centers will come to be a major burden on resources in the not-too-distant future. Each of those nations has relatively low population density and ample domestic water — especially massive Canada and Russia.China’s uber-fast-growing cities could create water problems in the North, and the India and Pakistan have butted heads over Kashmir for decades — not least because it gives both thirsty nations a pipeline into the Himalayas’ glacial water supply. And some 20% of the world’s fresh water is in the Great Lakes, which Canada shares with the US.
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