In the past years, several big cities experienced a water crisis. In 2014, the Brazilian Sao Paulo’s water supply decreased to just 3% of its capacity during the most severe drought of the region. Last year, Cape Town in South Africa was just days away from completely running out of water. This summer, the Indian city of Chennai, where 7 million people live, announced that all four of their water reservoirs dried out, leaving inhabitants without drinking water. Now, a list has been revealed about countries that are under the most amount of threat with regards to the near future – and Hungary is among them.
According to Qubit, the World Resources Institute (WRI) revealed that on top of everything, the 17 countries that are threatened the most are home to a quarter of the world’s population.
The Aqueduct water risk atlas rates countries 1 to 5 based on their water supply. Hungary has a rating of 0.77, making it 113th on the list of 164. Countries with a rating above 4 belong to the category of increased threat.
“Water shortage is the biggest crisis, yet no one is talking about it, even though its consequences are clearly visible in problems related to food safety, riots, migration, and financial instability,”
Andrew Steer, the president of WRI, declared in a statement.
According to Rutger Hofste, data analyst of WRI, people tend to connect water crises to climate change. However, the truth is that the main reason behind the crises is the increase in the economy as well as in the population. Data from the Institute revealed that between 1961 and 2014, the amount of water we annually use increased by 250%.
In a list connected to the threats of droughts, Hungary is not doing so well. The list rates countries from 0 to 1 according to the risks of droughts, and
Hungary is in 16th place out of 138, with a score of 0.67, along with Pakistan, Tunisia, and Vietnam. Some neighbouring countries are in an even worse situation – Ukraine is in 2nd place (0.81), while Serbia is in 5th place (0.75), and Romania is 7th on the list (0.73).
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) reported earlier that Hungary is under an increased threat of droughts. The risks caused by the increased likelihood of droughts are significant, and we can expect more and longer dry periods in the future. WWF said in a statement:
“To decrease droughts, immediate and efficient steps need to be taken. Irrigation or building artificial water reservoirs do not offer proper solutions to the problems – last year, several international examples showed that even the most modern water reservoirs can dry out in the case of long-lasting droughts.
The organisation offers taking care of our wetlands and stopping practices that get rid of the water surplus that comes with floods. Systems need to be implemented that are able to store this excess water, as we need to start saving water when there is plenty of it readily available to us.