As intelligence agencies worldwide have pointed out, water scarcity and drought are global concerns. Roughly 30 percent of the world’s population live in dry areas – affected by scarce natural resources, land degradation and frequent droughts, and whose living conditions are expected to decline due to climate change, leading us towards a global water crisis if our unsustainable practices continue.
According to the National Climatic Data Center, droughts are the second most severe weather–related phenomena that can damage the economy in the United States. But unlike the first place– hurricanes, droughts have more than one definition.
Most people define drought as a deficiency in precipitation that persist for an extended period of time. However, dry conditions may develop for different reasons, including human factors such as overuse and overpopulation.
Four of the most commonly used definitions are:
- Meteorological Drought— happens when areas receive less precipitation than typical for that specific region. California is currently in its fifth year of meteorological drought.
- Agricultural Drought — when various characteristics of meteorological (or hydrological) drought do not supply enough water to supply all the stages of crop development.
- Hydrological Drought —occurs when extended precipitation shortfalls impact the water supply. Because regions are connected through a series of hydrologic systems, the impact of a meteorological drought can expand further the borders of the precipitation-deficient area. For example: drought, high demand of water supplies and climate change are the three main contributing factors of Lake Mead’s historical low water levels this year.
- Socioeconomic Drought — occurs when the clean water supply does not meet the demand. The demand of economic goods may increase because of population growth, improved production efficiency, technology or the increase of surface water storage capacity.
In a world dominated by scarcity, climate change and population growth, water can no longer be taken for granted. To ensure the long-term sustainability of any region, making water conservation a habit is paramount to prevent or lessen the effects of drought.
To move towards a more sustainable future, here in California, commercial building owners and government bodies can utilize water district rebates available to upgrade to high efficiency fixtures such as our waterless urinals and hybrid urinals for FREE.