How to Overcome a Water Shortage

by Lauranie Phan on February 22, 2018 - 10:53pm


           In the article published in Science Daily entitled “Population Could Outpace water by mid-century:  Technological advances needed in coming decades to avoid water shortages”, a group of researchers from Duke University have found that even though the world population has been gradually growing for the last centuries and consequently needing more water supplies, we will most likely be able to adapt to the demands. Indeed, with the help of a model that is able to predict future tendencies by analyzing historical data, the researchers found that human civilization has already encountered periods where the water demand was strong, but every shortage was subdued by swift technological innovations. If the trend continues, this means that we would be able to overcome the current water crisis before 2050 by incorporating policies that will regulate our use of water or develop modernized technology to find new sources of water such as recycling water and removing the salt from seawaters. The article however warns readers that even if the use of water per person has been declining over the past 40 years, the growth of the world population still has a tremendous impact in the equation, which means that we need to find alternatives if we want to sidestep a possible shortage. All in all, the researchers from Duke University believe that the pressing matter of water supplies will create an incentive for advancements in the field, which will help us overcome the potential crisis.

            I find it very optimistic of researchers to say that there is a way to confront a possible water shortage that will work, but I think that only relying on past experiences to predict that we will overcome it is not enough. Stricker laws should be installed by governments in every country about how we should use water, and we should not only focus our attention into replacing drinkable water. By turning towards seawater, we are admitting defeat and giving up this amazing resource. We should all concentrate on how we currently use this type of water and work together by coming up with regulations that will suit our needs but limit our consumption.


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To begin, I decided to choose your article summary because the topic was not only very interesting, but also very intriguing. Without a question the topic you have selected is immensely important however in my opinion it's an issue that we as humans wrongly overlook, in the sense that we often perceive this issue as sustainable and untroubling for current and approaching generations, when in actuality the points you addressed would help mitigate any future risks through finding solutions now, before the situation becomes troubling. For instance I agree with your point that local and national governments must enforce regulations on how water is used and distributed seeing as the last thing you want s a society taking for granted this supply (water) simply becauseit is available. Personally, I believe that by using a mathematical model to predict water shortages could only be seen as a positive, although i don't think that we should use this method as the sole way to predict our water needs. For example, the ''Government of Canada'' published on their website an article on water availability for each province and identified Quebec as a province with a low threat to water availability through the water availibility indicator (Government of Canada, 2017). Thus, Canada's approach to water scarcity is different than other countries such as ones with mostly warm and dry conditions without many water bassins or water bodies, like Jordan, a country with a mosty arid climate. In fact, the article entitled ''Water starved'' states how ''Jordan has one of the lowest levels of water resource availability'' and nearly 94 % of ''total rainfall volume (... is) evaporated'' (Syeda Areeba, 2018, 40-41). The problem with Jordan is that the countries population is expected to double and water shortage is expected to increase due to global warming. This has led the country to be classifed as water scarce, and being a country that relies on its precipitation (however little it may be) causes a serious risk that cannot be relieved by only predicting water shortage through historic data. My point is that for a country facing a water crisis, the auhtor of he aformentioned article argues that a possible solution could be to recycle and reuse the municipalities' waste water. I would also argue for this solution atop of setting government regulations like you had mentioned in the opinion section of your article.


Rasheed, S. A. (2018, 01). Water starved. Southasia, 22, 40-41. Retrieved from

Government of Canada. (2017, 04). Water Availability: Indicator Initiative. Canada. Retrieved from