Saturday, May 25, 2024
Wealthy pools cause urban water scarcity.

Wealthy pools cause urban water scarcity.

Urban Water Crisis Driven by Societal Inequalities, Says Study

A new study states that urban water issues are mainly driven by societal inequalities rather than environmental factors such as climate change or urban population increase. According to the research, wealthy urban elites overconsume water for personal leisure, such as filling their swimming pools or watering their gardens, leaving underprivileged people in cities worldwide without access to basic water for drinking and hygiene.

Researchers Analyze Domestic Water Use in Cape Town

The research team led by Dr Elisa Savelli at Uppsala University, Sweden, used a model to analyze the domestic water use of urban residents in Cape Town, where many underprivileged people live without taps or toilets. The study identified five social groups, ranging from ‘elite’ to ‘informal dwellers’, to understand how different social classes consume water. The research found that elite and upper-middle-income households, comprising less than 14% of Cape Town’s population, use more than half of the water consumed by the entire city. Informal and lower-income households, representing 62% of the city’s population, consume just 27% of Cape Town’s water.

Similar Issues in 80 Cities Worldwide

The study also highlighted similar issues in 80 cities worldwide, including London, Miami, Barcelona, Beijing, Tokyo, and Melbourne, among others. Professor Hannah Cloke, a hydrologist at the University of Reading, co-author of the study, said that social inequality is the biggest problem for underprivileged people in cities worldwide to get access to water for their everyday needs, and the impact of climate change and population growth will worsen the crisis in the coming years.

A Fairer Way to Share Water in Cities

The researchers emphasized that traditional methods of managing water supplies in water-scarce cities, such as developing more efficient water infrastructure, are insufficient and counterproductive. Instead, they suggest a proactive approach to reducing unsustainable water consumption among elites in cities worldwide, to ensure that everyone gets equal access to water for their daily needs.

Ultimately, fairer ways to share water in cities are crucial, and the global community needs to prioritize sustainable management of water supplies, reducing inequality, and ensuring equal access to water for everyone as an essential human right.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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