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12th July 2021
‘Buying at the price of water’ or ‘straight as water’ – these words are widely used among us to mean the easy availability of any subject. Accustomed to hearing such words, there is no room for doubt about the easy availability of water in our daily lives. For whatever reason, there are vast expanses of primordial waters covering 61 percent of the earth’s surface.

This readily available water can again become an invaluable gem for future generations. We may be living in a watery blue planet, but the amount of fresh water we use is very limited. Because, only 3 percent of our blue planet is fresh water. The rest is salt water. Again, more than two-thirds of this fresh water is beyond the reach of everyone. Three-quarters of the remaining fresh or fresh water is groundwater. And there is a little bit of fresh water in different reservoirs above the ground.

The whole of mankind has survived on less than one-tenth of this vast body of water. But with the ever-increasing use, pollution and waste of water, these limited resources are becoming scarce. So drinking water is no longer readily available. The price of water is increasing day by day. According to many, water will become more expensive than petroleum in the 21st century. Goldman Sachs, a US diversified investment bank, predicts

Water will be the petroleum of the next century.

If water becomes more expensive than petroleum, the day is not far off when the word ‘buy for water’ may mean scarcity. The right to water means the right to life. And the water crisis means the crisis of life. But if that water soon goes out of the reach of the public, today’s discussion is about where the severity of the water crisis can go.

As the demand for a commodity increases, so does the general tendency to increase its price. One of the reasons for this is that the supply of goods is less than the growth rate of demand. The same thing could happen in the future with potable water.

On the one hand, water use is increasing as the world’s population grows. On the other hand, the source of potable water in the world is gradually shrinking due to various natural and man-made reasons. The demand for drinking water will increase by 40 percent over the next decade. And by 2050, another 200 crore people will be added to the world. As the world’s population grows, so does the demand for freshwater.

Strange as it may sound, it is true that with this in mind, many non-governmental organizations around the world have already begun to store large amounts of water. They believe that when the water crisis intensifies in the future, more profits can be made by selling this huge amount of water at higher prices. This will turn the once-available free water into an expensive product.

Not all countries in the world have equal water storage and per capita water. So it is normal for the price of water to vary from country to country. Canada is the richest country in the world in terms of per capita water, and Kuwait is the most in crisis. Canada has 10,000 times more water reserves than Kuwait. In that sense, it is possible Canada did not have as much fear of the Kuwaiti people facing a water crisis. Since the amount of potable water stored in different parts of the world varies, it can be said that in the near future there will be different instances of water crisis in different parts of the world.

History has shown that from the dawn of civilization, human civilization developed around water sources. Even today, most of the world’s cities are founded on one or another water source. Clearly, the existence of water life as well as civilization, culture and economic system has developed.

But in the evolution of time, the world’s Bagha-Bagha cities are facing water crisis. Some of these cities are in a state of dehydration as usual. Let’s talk about Cape Town, South Africa. Cape Town is the first of the world’s largest cities to run out of water. The idea is that in the coming days, this fear will become a reality. The list includes London, Istanbul, Moscow, Jakarta, Cairo, Beijing, Bangalore, Sao Paulo and many more. In a few years, the water crisis in these cities will intensify. Civilization, culture and economy will face crisis.

So what is the way to meet the growing shortage of fresh water? Many are relying on modern technology to meet the shortage of potable water, which is why the desalination process has almost doubled in the past decade. The idea is that if this situation continues, the use of desalination process in many countries will increase manifold in the future.

But the concern is that the supply of purified water in the desalination process is as small as the amount of water required in each case, from agriculture and industrial plants to daily use. There is no conventional management that has the capacity to meet this demand. As a result, when the demand for water is at its peak in the future, high prices will have to be calculated for potable water. No country’s economy is completely free from its influence. This shortage of water will affect more or less everyone. Because, the use of water in the production process is essential. In such a situation, the rate of inflation in the country’s economy will increase manifold and the suffering of the people will increase.

The class gap is widening in the kind of economic model we are following. The same thing will be observed in dealing with future water crisis. Kuwait, for example. It is true that there is a shortage of natural potable water in Kuwait. But the economically strong country of Kuwait is trying to meet the water needs of the people through the process of desalination. However, this process is very expensive and not all countries can follow.

While the right to safe drinking water is recognized as the basis of all human rights worldwide, a growing number of people are deprived of the right to safe water; Most of them are again extremely poor. Since life is not possible without water, a large portion of the world’s population will be forced to use contaminated or unusable water. According to a report by the World Health Organization, 3.4 million people die each year from waterborne diseases worldwide. As the days go by the situation is getting worse.

When water is the life of the village – so where there is no water, there is no life. In such a precarious situation, people will rush to all the villages where there is a possibility of getting potable water or it is available at a lower price. By doing this, on the one hand, the once functional cities will gradually turn into abandoned cities. On the other hand, the number of migrants will continue to increase in areas with high water reserves. As a result, new complexes will be created around these areas.

Where the quantity of potable water is insufficient, quarrels over the sharing of water are not very strange. From household consumers to rural vs. urban areas, inland states vs. states, agriculture vs. industry, multiple parties will be formed and quarrels over water will start in a new form. Water will become one of the tools of exploitation, which has already started in different parts of the world.

A few years ago, the dispute between the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over the sharing of water from the neighboring Kaberi River in India caught the world’s attention. In Kenya, there have been clashes between different indigenous tribes over water. One of the main reasons for the outbreak of civil war in Sudan’s Darfur was the water crisis. When the demand for potable water increases several times in the future, the fear that the effects of such a crisis will not spread beyond the geographical boundaries to the global level cannot be allayed.

The last century has seen a shift in the global geopolitical landscape in the pursuit of control over oil, gas, petroleum and other scarce resources. It can be said that the same thing will happen with water. And where the amount of potable water is dwindling day by day, world leaders will fight to establish control over this scarce resource; That is inevitable! Therefore, the cycle of international politics is clear in the coming days regarding the sharing of water resources.

There are currently more than 260 transboundary river basins in the world. In many cases, some of these rivers have crossed the political boundaries of two or more countries. Forty percent of the world’s population depends on these rivers. That is why there have been hundreds of international water agreements. But population growth, rapid industrialization and urbanization are increasing the pressure on water resources. To cope with this pressure, upstream countries are building giant dams in river basins.