MAN5606 (World Culture) – World Cultural Analysis of the Global Water Crisis


MAN5606 (World Culture) – World Cultural Analysis of the Global Water Crisis

Florida A&M University School of Business & Industry

World Cultural Analysis of the Global Water Crisis

MAN5606 World Culture


This paper supports the idea that the global water crisis is a growing concern as water shortages are causing a worldwide economic strain and adversely effecting human life around the world. Every human being needs fresh water in order to sustain life and it is becoming a scarce commodity. This selection contains research about the importance of water  in the following countries: Somalia, Egypt, Syria, Pakistan, Haiti, Laos, and the United States of America. Throughout these countries citizens deal with contamination of water systems, water-borne illness, and wastefulness of freshwater and a plethora of other findings in correlation with the global water crisis. Overall, the purpose of this research is to spread awareness of this terrifying world problem and to encourage a worldwide effort to conserve freshwater sources to lessen the domestic, environmental, and economic strain water shortage is causing.

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Keywords: water, worldwide, scarce


Earth is composed of about 71% water and the oceans hold about 96.5 percent of all Earth’s water. There are about 1.1 billion people on earth who live day-to-day without clean drinking water and an additional 2.6 billion people who lack adequate sanitation. There are about 3900 children die every day from water borne diseases and water is still typically viewed as an everlasting resource on earth. There’s tons of data and information that leads to the conclusion that the root of the earth’s water crisis is less about the availability of water and more about its health and the way that humans manage water sources worldwide. The environment is suffering at a continuous rate from abusive human practices and contributions to climate change and other non-eco-friendly occurrences that take place every day. Water is a commodity that everyone in this world should protect due to its undisputed value to all forms of life. The biggest challenge in managing the development of the water crisis is increasing awareness on freshwater resources and understanding that these are the only consumable bodies of water. Fresh water is used for agriculture, industry works, and domestic resources and it is wasted carelessly due to the natural thought of believing that water will always be there and could never be. Fresh water sources are being neglected and abused on a daily basis and the repercussions f those actions are rapidly revealing the life tarnishing effects. The world’s population is expected to increase by another 40 to 50% within the next fifty years which will make the demand for water and the call for its protection greater than ever. These circumstances will put a strain on available fresh water sources and fall victim to the necessity of industrialization and urbanization world-wide.

 Literature Review

Developing countries are hardest hit by the water crisis. In his study, Sohan(2017), found out that Somalia residents experience water crisis.  All over the world it is the responsibility of governments’ to provide water as a resource to its citizens. Somalia has experienced a series of civil wars over the decades since the first government collapsed in 1991(Jama and  Mourad, 2019)  Due to the emergence of the civil wars there has not been a stable government that can aptly  cater for the basic needs of  Somalia citizens.  Sohan (2017) points out that a few Non-governmental organizations try to improve the situation of water scarcity in the country. Still, the water crisis condition persists.

            In his research, Sohan(2017) found out the current water amount available in Somalia is insufficient and of poor standard to satisfy the needs of the people. The two main rivers, Jubba, and  Shabelle have very low volumes of water flow.  People have found an alternative of the ground water through drilling boreholes, springs, and subsurface dams (Sohan, 2017).  Poor dam outlets serving both humans and livestock compromises on the quality of the water.  The springs available in some mountainous areas are not sufficient to meet the demand for water in the country.

             Salinity levels in water make it of low quality for the human consumption.  According to Sohan (2017), the little amounts of rainfall received annually contribute to the salinity of the water available for use. Lack of sufficient water has affected both irrigation and production of power. The sanitation conduction in the country is below the acceptable standards due to the water crisis.  Sohan ( 2017) found out that the urban population have resorted to artificial water while the rural residents consume untreated water. The livestock in Somalia have been affected reducing the monetary gains that farmers would accrue after selling them. It’s high time that the water crisis in Somalia be looked into.

             Gad (2017) indicates that since 1970s, the demand for water in Egypt has always surpassed its demand.  As such, Gad (2017), found out that the Egyptian government has always found ways of dealing with the issue of water scarcity.  Some of the water management techniques used by the government includes the recycling of drainage water, trapping all the water losses, and ensuring that water rationalization practices are put in effect (Gad, 2017). Egypt has a single source of water, River Nile. Over the years it has managed to utilize the water for both the domestic and irrigation purposes. Gad (2017) states that Egypt water crisis emanates from the increased level of salinity in the sea water.  The Aswan High Dam construction has made the utilization of the sea water possible. Also, the government advocates for water re-use to curb the growing demands of its increasing population.

            Climatic change, renegotiated shares of river Nile and drought are reasons for the decreased amount of fresh water in Egypt ( Gohar, and Wad, 2013).  The Climatic change has affected the rainfall patterns in the Egypt and thus impacting on the flow of the river Nile. The amount of rainfall received annually does not match the demand of fresh water among the residents of Egypt (Gad, 2017). The impact of reduced rainfall is on the agricultural produce that solely relies on irrigation. On the other hand, Salinity has been brought about by drought ( Gad, 2017). An increase in the salinity of water fuels the crisis in both the domestic use and industrial uses of water such as hydropower generation.  The renegotiation of the shares of the River nile means that Egyptian residents receive reduced amount of fresh water as opposed to previous years.  The water crisis can be averted through water utilization programs throughout the country.

            Dinic(2017) states that the increase in the scarcity of water means that the drought prone areas like Syria will continue to experience  water related stress and an upsurge of violence.  In 2006, Syria experienced a severe drought that increased the water crisis that the country was already experiencing.  Dinic (2017) found out that the socio-economic strain experienced between Syria and Iraq was founded on water crisis.  Lack of underground water has made Syria rely on rivers Tigris and Euphrates for its supply of fresh water.  According to Dinic (2017), the fresh water is used for irrigation, electricity generation, as well as domestic use. The reduction of the water leads to lower levels of production and ultimately an increase in the price of the grains. The Arabian conflict between Syria and its neighbors is attributed to the rise in prices of food products.  Gleick (2014) states that the increased human population from  three million in 1950 to over 22 million in 2012 in Syria puts a strain to the water resources of the country.

           Despite the increased population numbers in Syria, Kout (2007) in his research indicated that Syria is increasingly managing its waters resources.  The key objective of the conservation of the water resources is to ensure all the Syrian citizens have got clean water for drinking. Kout (2007) also found out that the water utilization process is meant to ensure that there is sufficient water for irrigation. Consequently the growth of crops helps in development of textile and food industry.

            Pakistan has been experiencing a shortage of water for industrial and local use for many years ( Wagan and Khoso, 2013).  In their research , Wagan and Khoso (2013), found out that the water resources have been strained due to increased industrial use, urbanization, more irrigational land , and increased population of the nation.  The water crisis has impacted various sectors of the Pakistan economy.  To begin with, food production has reduced due to the low numbers of hectares put under irrigation. Wagan  and Khoso (2013) found out that only 13% of the hydropower potential has been tapped.  Socially, the different provinces have experienced conflicts regarding the water source. As the residents of Pakistan face an increased water crisis, they resort to overdrawing of ground water for their local use. As such, the salinity in the water levels in underground water sources increases.

           Despite the increasing water crisis, Wagan and Khoso (2013) suggested measures that could be put in place to alleviate the situation.  The first measure should be putting in place meas of harvesting seepage water. The water can be used for irrigation purposes.  The Pakistan government can give resources for the construction of water reservoirs. Coupled with the right water management policies , the water shortage issue can be solved.

            Jerome et al,(2017) indicates  in their research study that  Haiti was marked by the United Nations  as one of the  countries bound to experience water shortage by the year 2025 due to its increasing population. Despite the crowded cities, population is on the rise with each advancing year.  Jerome et al,( 2017) indicates that the water crisis affects sanitation of the Haitian cities.

           Stoa( 2017) studies  how the Haitian government has put  policies  in order to manage  the water resources. The legislation helps in controlling the water supply, sanitation and hygiene.  A capacity analysis in the study indicated that despite the involvement of local stakeholders, there is still lack of human and financial resources required to carry out the legislation (Stoa, 2017).  Therefore, the water crisis in Haiti can be solved through the engagement of both the human and financial resources.

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             Komany (2017)  in his research indicated that Lao is rich in water resources. Despite having more than enough water to run the country’s affairs, little of the water resources have been developed for use.  In his research, Komany (2017) indicated that there are various developmental activities that could reduce the quality of the water resources in Lao. To begin with, the Hydro generating activities upstream would reduce the content of oxygen in the water. Komany (2017) , also noted the increased urbanization poses a pollution risk through the release of waste water into water subways. Industrial activities pose a risk to water resources through contamination with chemicals, while during the rainy season agricultural run-off may contaminate the quality of the water resources.  Still, Komany (2017) has recommended a series of actions that if taken into consideration could greatly improve the water quality in Laos.  Policy and Legislation helps in the management of water resources. The legislation determines the manner and extent to which legislation services are taken into account. Komany(2017), also proposes the establishment of water resources information system to coordinate water activities.

The American population is on the rise. As such, the demand for fresh water for both domestic and economic purposes continues to rise. Yáñez-Arancibia and Day (2017), state that the climatic change has contributed into the water scarcity in the USA. The Colorado river until recently used to supply sufficient water for the  American Southwest and Mexican Northwest (Yáñez-Arancibia and Day, 2017).  However, the changing climatic conditions have rendered the river insufficient to meet the domestic needs and hydroelectric generation needs.  The American population in the upstream uses plenty of water while the lower cities in Mexico cannot find sufficient water to meet their needs. The scarcity of water affects economic activities that are sources of income for the population. Apart from direct implication on human needs, the reduced water resources affects the ecosystem in the cross –border region(Yáñez-Arancibia and Day, 2017).  Due to the reduction in the water levels, the services generated by the ecosystems are greatly reduced.

           Hinrichsen, and  Tacio, (2002) state that the growing water crisis in the world is due to the increase in demand. Various factors such as increased domestic use, depending on water for irrigation purposes and increased industrial use of water have fueled the demand for water ( Hinrichsen and Tacio , 2002).  Availability of running water in both rural and urban areas has increased the consumption of the fresh water.  Hinrichsen, and  Tacio, (2002) indicate that the availability of pollutants in the natural water ecosystems reduces the amount of Fresh water available for use.Also, the increased populations especially in urban areas indicate that the demand for water is more than the nations can possibly afford.  The fresh water crisis is an indicator of  natural and artificial pollution of water resources (Hinrichsen, and  Tacio, 2002). There is need for safeguarding the water resources to ensure the continued availability of fresh water as well as the best quality of water for American residents.


Increased populations, lead to a straining of the limited water services around nations.   Natural and human activities such as industrial activities, climate change, increased salinity levels in water resources, and development of water resources interfere with the quality of the water resources. It is upon the individual governments to look into ways of stabilizing the water resources for their populations. The quality of water should also be addressed as a key issue in provision of fresh water for domestic and agricultural use.


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Gleick, P. H. (2014). Water, drought, climate change, and conflict in Syria. Weather, Climate, and Society, 6(3), 331-340.

 Gohar, A. A. and  Ward F. A. (2013) Mitigating impacts of water shortage on Egyptian agriculture:a catchment scale analysis/ Water Policy 15 (2013) 738–760

Hinrichsen, D., & Tacio, H. (2002). The coming freshwater crisis is already here. The linkages between population and water. Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1-26.

Jama, A. A., & Mourad, K. A. (2019). Water Services Sustainability: Institutional Arrangements and Shared Responsibilities. Sustainability, 11(3), 916.

Jérôme, Y., Emmanuel, E., Bodson, P., & Roy, P. M. (2017). The issue of water in slum development in Haiti: the case study of Canaan. Aqua-LAC, 9(1), 87-97.

Komany, S. (2008, October). Water quality monitoring and management in Lao PDR: the case study of Nam Ngum River Basin. In The 3rd WEPA international forum on water environmental governance in Asia.

Kout, W. (2007). Integrated Water Resources Management In Syria. Proceedings of Taal, 2300-2314.

 Sohan, I, A( 2017).  Vulnerable Water Resource in Somalia. Association of Life Science and Engineering Writers (ALSEW) January issue, 2017.

Stoa, R. B. (2017). Water governance in Haiti: an assessment of laws and institutional capacities. Tulane Environmental Law Journal, 29(2), 243-286.

Wagan, F. H., & Khoso, S. (2013). WATER SHORTAGE ITS CAUSES, IMPACTS AND REMEDIAL MEASURES. In 6th International Civil Engineering Congress 28th December Karachi Pakistan.

Yáñez-Arancibia, A., & Day, J. W. (2017). Water scarcity and sustainability in the arid area of North America: Insights gained from a cross border perspective. Regions & Cohesion, 7(1), 6.

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