Context Matters: The Global Water Crisis

When it comes to the global water crisis, we must think about context.

The water crisis is global – that means it will affect every person on the planet. That’s right, everyone.

But, that doesn’t mean that it will affect everyone in the same way.

When it comes to the global water crisis, context matters!

Here’s what we can say, though:

  • First, the regions of the world that will be most affected by water scarcity are those that already do not get enough water. That is deserts and other regions that get little or no rainfall. So, in places like the Southwest U.S., sub-Saharan Africa, Australia, parts of Asia and regions of India, the water supply will only continue to deteriorate.
  • Second, water scarcity affects most significantly people who live in poverty and other vulnerable situations. This fact probably comes as no surprise, but it is important to remember in any discussion about the global water crisis. The injustice of this fact only gets graver when we dive deeper into the issues surrounding water scarcity and poverty. In countries and communities where fresh water is not readily available, women bear most of the burden in finding and retrieving water, and that water might not even be clean. Moreover, access to fresh water affects every other part of living a thriving human life. As the UN and other international organizations reveal, access to clean, fresh water is integral to public health, education, and economic growth.

Contextual Yet Collective Response

So, when we start talking about how to address the global water crisis, we must think about context – Who are the people being affected? How are they affected? What region of the world do they live in? How does the community function? What are the needs of the individuals in the community?

While there are some great ideas being thrown around, we need to get rid of any notion of a one-size-fits-all “solution” to this problem. This problem will affect each location and group of people differently, and we must understand context.

With that said, though, this is not a problem that can be fixed on an individual level. This is a problem that must be tackled collectively to find any lasting solutions. We have to work together.

Remember, we must address the global water crisis contextually yet collectively. Context matters!

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