World Water Day: rationalising water consumption in all sectors

The national day for rationalising water consumption was organised in conjunction with World Water Day, which takes place every year on 22 March. Tunisia is trying to develop a strategy to preserve water resources by building new hydraulic dams, desalinating sea water and rationalising consumption.

The event, organised by the Ministry of Agriculture, focused on raising awareness and providing information on rationalising water consumption in all sectors. Given that Tunisia will be one of the countries affected by water stress over the next two decades, urgent solutions must be implemented.

Sami BEN YAHIA Consultant in CSR and Sustainable Development

Water serves as the fundamental source of sustenance for humans, animals and plants, and it is anticipated to become a disputed asset in certain regions of the world in the forthcoming decades. According to data from the United Nations, global water stress, which measures the proportion of water withdrawn for industrial, agricultural, or domestic use of the available water, was manageable at 18.2% in 2020. However, in 2022, approximately 2.4 billion individuals resided in areas that were exposed to extreme water stress in certain cases.

The priority now is to raise awareness of environmental challenges among citizens and organisations and to work with civil society to foster an environmental culture. The aim is to change attitudes towards rational water consumption, especially among the general public and young people. Solutions proposed by start-ups to save water for everyday uses, such as agriculture, which accounts for almost 70% of water consumption in Tunisia, were also presented.

The exact extent of water stress by 2050 cannot be precisely determined due to various factors, including global population growth, and economic and political developments in emerging and transitioning nations. Consequently, scientists are presently relying on scenarios rather than precise estimates. Nevertheless, certainly, the water demand will steadily increase, and many countries are already consuming more water than they have access to.

Based on projections by the World Resources Institute (WRI), an infographic reveals that by 2050, 51 out of the 164 countries and territories analyzed are expected to experience high to extremely high water stress, affecting approximately 31 per cent of the global population. The scenario employed by the WRI corresponds to a future characterized by “business as usual,” with highs ranging from 2.8 to 4.6 degrees Celsius by 2100 and a persistently unequal world. Alongside the entire Arabian Peninsula, Iran, and India, numerous North African countries, including Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, are projected to consume at least 80 per cent of the available water by 2050.

However, water scarcity is not solely limited to emerging nations. Southern European countries such as Portugal, Spain, and Italy are already facing significant water stress, and the situation in Spain is expected to worsen considerably by 2050. France and Poland, according to experts, are anticipated to experience medium to high water stress, corresponding to a consumption rate of 20 to 40 per cent of the available resources.

TunisianMonitorOnline (Sami BEN YAHIA Consultant in CSR and Sustainable Development)

Related posts