Over two-thirds of Earth’s surface is covered by water; less than a third is taken up by land. As Earth’s population continues to grow, people are putting ever-increasing pressure on the planet’s water resources. In a sense, our oceans, rivers, and other inland waters are being “squeezed” by human activities—not so they take up less room, but so their quality is reduced. Poor water quality means water pollution.
Our rivers, lakes, aquifers, and coastal waters aren’t unlimited resources that can handle whatever we take out or dump in. These waters need protection. The populace needs to understand the urgent call for doing so before they run out of the source that sustains most life on the planet and NAM has taken it upon itself to illuminate the masses.
A country is said to experience water stress when annual water supplies drop below 1,700 cubic meters per person. When supplies drop below 1,000 cubic meters per person per year, the country faces water scarcity for all. Population Action International (PAI) estimated that 31 countries and half a billion people regularly faced rather water stress or water scarcity. In 2025, 48 countries in which about 3 billion people are living, will face water shortages. By 2050, 54 countries containing 4 billion people, or 40 per cent of the projected world population of 9.4 billion, will have a shortage of water. In 1999, some 400 of 600 major Chinese cities were suffering from severe water crisis. Of these, 30 cities in northern China, including Beijing, was facing long-term shortages severe enough to limit their economic development.
The last two NAM summits has convened a table to discuss the issue of water crisis and the escalating water pollution which threatens most if its Member States. NAM states that the crisis is serious and demands each country to take measures to conserve water through methods of rain water harvesting and planting more trees along with keeping a regular tab on underground water-level so to device measures to replenish them when reaches danger levels. It urges them accordingly distribute water in their particular regions, while educating its masses to not only conserve water but also able to produce it through various steps.
Most of its states have been on the verge of either water scarcity problem or face issues of impure water complicating the matter further.
Desalination plants are an overuse of water resources in the Middle East. 70% of desalination plants in the world are located in this area, found mostly in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain. These Gulf countries are famous as oil export countries that make the climate harsh and may cause of falling level of water. GCC governments have earmarked more than $100 billion in their water sectors between 2011 and 2016 to improve desalination technologies involving solar energy, and maximize on wastewater treatments and recycling.
The Arab world is likely to witness a vulnerable water crisis around 2025 unless efficient guiding mechanisms for sustainable water management and measures to reduce the agricultural consumption of water are applied. UAE has planned several wastewater treatment and recycling projects to improve water management practices in order to meet rising demand of this scarce and costly resource.
An important goal of the World Water Assessment Programme, founded in 2000 by Non-Aligned Movement within the Commission on Sustainable Development, is therefore to assist governments in developing and implementing their national water management plans. Although progress is being made in some areas, such as the recognition of water rights, other needed reforms – such as decentralization – have been slow to come. NAM Member States have adopted several other sustainable strategies to reduce water consumption and wastage as well. Water is crucial for life and so needs much attention from every member country to deal efficiently towards resolving the crisis and also decentralization of water is important to deal with the problem of scarcity.