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Day 8 – Q 3.Why has water become a stressed resource in many parts of the world? Analyse.

3. Why has water become a stressed resource in many parts of the world? Analyse.

दुनिया के कई हिस्सों में जल क्यों एक तनावग्रस्त संसाधन बन गया है? विश्लेषण करें।


The keyword in this question is “Analyse”. When in a question, it is asked to “analyse”, it means a thorough deconstruction is expected. Only enlisting causes is not sufficient here, we have to support our arguments with facts, examples and an overview of the crisis. It would be better to give way forward here.


  • About 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered with water and 3% of it is actually fresh water that is fit for human consumption. Around two-thirds of that is tucked in frozen glaciers and unavailable for our use.
  • Even though there is enough water on earth, most of the regions around earth are facing water Stress.


Water stress and water scarcity

  • Water stress is the difficulty of obtaining sources of fresh water for use during a period of time and may result in further depletion and deterioration of available water resources.
  • Water scarcity involves water stress, water shortage or deficits, and water crisis.
  • Water scarcity can be due to physical water scarcity and economic water scarcity. Physical water scarcity refers to a situation where natural water resources are unable to meet a region’s demand and economic water scarcity is a result of poor water management resources.
  • The latter is found more often to be the cause of countries or regions experiencing water scarcity, as most countries or regions lack the means to provide water in an accessible manner.

Causes of Water Scarcity

  • Overuse of Water: Indeveloped countries per capita water consumption is far more than developing and poor countries. An average U.S. family wastes 13,000 gallons of water every year.
  • Geographical distribution: Usage depends on availability of water; Canadian households use an average of 91 US gallons each day, while American households use just over 100 gallons. Contrast this to Israel, where water supplies are limited, which uses an average of only 36 gallons per household per day.
  • Pollution of Water: 80 percent of wastewater from human activities is discharged into waterways without any pollution removal. Bangalore water crisis was due to pollution in city’s lakes and rapid urbanisation.
  • Conflict: Water stress in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq are examples of water crisis due to conflicts. War disrupts the infrastructure as well as administration.
  • Distance: Areas that are considered to be desert, or areas that are secluded deal with water scarcity because they just aren’t close to anywhere that has water.
  • Women in sub-Saharan Africa collectively spend about 40 billion hours a year collecting water. This significantly impacts their employment opportunities.
  • Drought: A drought is an area which is not getting enough rainfall to be able to sustain the life that is residing there. Some areas are in perpetual drought, whereas other areas may be dealing with a drought on occasion.
  • Some examples of it are from India itself, Marathwada region in Maharashtra is usually under drought conditions throughout the year. Another classic example is the recent water crisis in Cape Town, South Africa, major reason here was drought.
  • Climate Change: Due to climate change and rising temperature there is change in global weather pattern and monsoon. Leading to drying up of rivers and reservoirs. Floods too affect the usability of water.

Findings of UNDP

  • In 2011, 41 countries experienced water stress – 10 of which are close to depleting their supply of renewable freshwater and must now rely on alternative sources. Increasing drought and desertification is already worsening these trends. By 2050, it is projected that at least one in four people will be affected by recurring water shortages.
  • Water scarcity affects more than 40 percent of people around the world, an alarming figure that is projected to increase with the rise of global temperatures as a result of climate change.

Way forward

  • Ensuring universal access to safe and affordable drinking water for all by 2030 (SDG6) requires we invest in adequate infrastructure, provide sanitation facilities, and encourage hygiene at every level.
  • Protecting and restoring water-related ecosystems such as forests, mountains, wetlands and rivers is essential if we are to mitigate water scarcity.
  • More international cooperation is also needed to encourage water efficiency and support treatment technologies in developing countries.

Best Answer: Cosmos

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