Water is very usual for human activities, it is a well-known fact that one of the most important uses of water is for drinking and cooking. We need water to cook most of the food that we consume and we need water to digest the food that we eat. Apart from this, water is useful for planting, animal farming and industry, this shows that water is one of the most important gifts to humanity and the earth at large. Without the availability of water, humans and other living things might not be able to survive. Not just water is needed for these human activities that are necessary for survival; we need freshwater. Unfortunately, climate change is mitigating against the availability of freshwater. To understand this, little should be said about water cycle.
Water cycle is the movement of water from the atmosphere to the land and from the land to the atmosphere in an organized exchange. It is this water cycle that determines, basically, the distribution of water on earth. It is recorded that approximately 98 percent of the earth’s water is salty while only 2 percent is freshwater. From the 2 percent that is freshwater, only 30 percent is ground water; 70 percent is snow and ice. This distribution shows that only a little quantity of water is useful for human activities while maintaining the order of things.
Climate change, which is caused by too much emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, has caused and is causing disruption in the distribution of water on earth. It has also affected the earth’s water cycle and this is dangerous for our survival. Climate change leads to an increase in the amount of water that goes into the atmosphere. This in turn leads to heavier rainfall when the air cools. In response to heavy rainfall, the movement of water from the atmosphere back to the ocean becomes more rapid and this limits the possibility of storing water for use by humans.
Climate change warms the air in the atmosphere and makes snowfall (which should normally takes about 70 percent of the earth’s freshwater) to be replaced by rainfall and faster evaporation. As evaporation reduces, the water that should be available for drinking, cooking, industry, power generation and agricultural production is sent back into the atmosphere and humanity’s survival is threatened by water shortage. Also, as melting ice and expanding and increasing warming waters will lead to rise in sea level which will in turn push salt water into freshwater aquifers and make such water useless for drinking and agriculture.
In addition to the threats, heavy rainfall may lead to overflow of sewage system. This overflow gushes into freshwater aquifers and contaminate the freshwater available for consumption. From all indications, it is obvious that climate change has an impact on water supply. We have to take actions to control the effect of climate change before the earth is destroyed by drought. We have to become more conscious of this reality; we all must know that climate change is not a pigment of our imagination, it is a frightening reality.