As World Water Day draws closer (March 22), this year’s World Water Development Report makes it clear that nature-based solutions — which are also aligned with the principles and aims of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — can offer answers to our most pressing water-related challenges.
Nature-based solutions hold great promise in areas which also include
- Sustainable food production
- Improved human settlements
- Access to drinking water supplies and sanitation
- Water-Related Disaster Risk Reduction
- Helping to respond to the impact of climate change on water resources.
Water Related Challenges :-
Population Growth :-
- The world’s population is expected to increase from 7.6 billion (2017) to between 9.4 and 10.2 billion people (2050), with two-thirds of them living in cities.
- UN estimates are that more than half of this anticipated growth will be in Africa (1.3 billion) and Asia (0.75 billion). Therefore, those most in need of water will be in developing or emerging economies.
Water Scarcity :- With Population increases demand will also increase for water therefore these two challenges are inter-linked.
- An estimated 3.6 billion people now live in areas that could face water scarcity for at least a month in a year, with that number increasing to 4.8 and 5.7 billion by 2050.
- The International Water Management Institute estimates that total demand could increase from 680 billion cubic metres (BCM) to 833 BCM by 2025, and to 900 BCM by 2050.
Climate change is also impacting the global water cycle with wetter regions generally becoming wetter and drier regions drier .
Deteriorating water quality :-
- Since the 1990s, water pollution has worsened in most rivers in Africa, Asia and Latin America, according to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)
- An estimated 80% of industrial and municipal wastewater is released without any prior treatment, with detrimental impacts on human health and ecosystems.
What are the nature based solutions which can help to achieve success in water problems ?
- Nature-based solutions can address overall water scarcity through “supply-side management,” and are recognised as the main solution to achieving sustainable water for agriculture.
- Constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment can also be a cost-effective, nature-based solution that provides effluent of adequate quality for several non-potable uses (irrigation) and additional benefits that include energy production & Natural and constructed wetlands also biodegrade or immobilise a range of emerging pollutants.
- Watershed management is another nature-based solution that is seen not only as a complement to built or “grey” infrastructure but also one that could also motivate local economic development, job creation, biodiversity protection and climate resilience.
Nature-based solutions are closely aligned with traditional and local knowledge including those held by indigenous and tribal peoples in the context of water variability and change.
Nature-based solutions are crucial to achieving our Sustainable Development Goals. Adopting them will not only improve water management but also achieve water security.
Mains Level :- Because Today we are facing a several challenges related to Water. Therefore it is essential to know what could be the possible solutions which can help us to achieve success in water problems