International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
Mannheim, Germany - September 2001
Rainwater Catchment in Humid and Arid Regions
and Prospects of Rainwater Harvesting in Rural Communities in Eastern
Nigerian Youth Environmental Network
Freshwater is a precious but limited resource. Only about
0.007% of all earths' water is available for human use. If the earth's
total reserves were compared to one gallon, (including snow and ice) fresh
water will make up less than half a cup and readily accessible fresh water
would just be about two drops.
Competition for those drops is increasing exponentially.
By present estimates, about thirty-one countries, accounting for under
8% of the world population about 400 million people face chronic water
shortages. Each year some 90 million people are added to global population
and nearly every country will experience a per capita reduction of available
water resources during the next three decades
Water scarcity on such a colossal scale in the age of space
exploration, biotechnology and microchip is an economic embarrassment
and a moral outrage.
The implication of the global water crisis has impacted
on the capacity of third world nations to deliver contextual issues of
development in areas of food security, health care delivery and poverty
The challenges that face Africa seem most daunting. The
annual rate of population is already high and there are doom day expectations
that growth will stay high the foreseeable future.
The situation in our continent is exacerbated and complicated
by prolonged drought in arid and semi arid zones, conjugated high population
pressures and a rapidly growing competition for water in the agriculture
and industrial sectors.
PDF of full document (4pp, 23kb)
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