Water Shortages

August 1, 2003 • Volume 13, Issue 27
Is there enough fresh water for everyone?
By Mary H. Cooper

Introduction

Women carry water from water holes in a dry lake west of Ahmadabad, India, on June 6, 2003. A heat wave is blamed in the deaths of more than 1,300 people in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.  (AP Photo/Siddharth Darshan Kumar)
Women carry water from water holes in a dry lake west of Ahmadabad, India, on June 6, 2003. A heat wave is blamed in the deaths of more than 1,300 people in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. (AP Photo/Siddharth Darshan Kumar)

More than a billion people around the world lack access to safe drinking water, and their numbers are growing. To make matters worse, 40 percent of Earth's inhabitants — nearly 3 billion people — have no sanitation services, often forcing them to sully the little fresh water they have. In the United States, copious rains finally have brought relief to many water-starved parts of the country, but the West and Southwest continue to suffer from last year's severe drought. The drought has intensified the ongoing struggle between thirsty urban centers in the West and rural communities fighting cities' efforts to tap their pristine rivers. Environmentalists say conservation can alleviate the water shortages, but others contend privatization of water supplies and more investment in technology offer the most hope.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Water Pollution
Jul. 15, 2016  Drinking Water Safety
Oct. 17, 2014  Protecting the Oceans
Jun. 18, 2010  Water Shortages
Aug. 01, 2003  Water Shortages
Nov. 24, 2000  Water Quality
Dec. 15, 1995  Global Water Shortages
Feb. 11, 1994  Water Quality
Apr. 19, 1991  California: Enough Water for the Future?
Jan. 30, 1987  Western Water
Jul. 12, 1985  Preventing Groundwater Contamination
Jan. 14, 1977  Western Water: Coming Crisis
Feb. 15, 1974  Drinking Water Safety
Aug. 11, 1965  Water Resources and National Water Needs
Dec. 08, 1960  Pollution of Water Supplies
Oct. 02, 1959  Water Needs and Resources
Jul. 01, 1955  Water for the Future
Jul. 24, 1953  Water Pollution
Feb. 15, 1950  Water Supply
Oct. 03, 1947  Unclean Waters
Sep. 17, 1935  Stream Pollution and the Disposal of Waste
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Soil and Watershed Conservation
Water Resources