Freshwater is often referred to as the source of life, as it keeps us and certain animals alive as well as making our planet unique and tailored to us and our needs. Only 3% of water on Earth is freshwater, and of that 3% only around 1% is readily available for our use and consumption.
Preserving water, whether freshwater or not, is of the highest importance because of quick population growth. WWF is a forerunner in protecting freshwater ecosystems and improving access, allocation and efficiency for environmental benefits and for humans. The water footprint must be reduced. WWF is working on the following areas to help begin saving water:-Water stewardship -Water security -Freshwater habitat protection -Water governanceThese are all possible with the help of other NGOs, international conventions, businesses, development agencies and governments. Since 1900, humans have caused the loss of more than half of the world’s wetlands. It is predicted that close to half of the world’s population will be living under severe water scarcity by the year 2030, if no changes are made.
Double irrigation will need to be a common practice by 2050 to meet the demand of an estimated 9 billion people. The 2 main ways in which we will feel the impact of climate change include: less water being available and extreme weather events. Hydropower produces more than 1/5 of the world’s electricity. Almost 500 million people have been affected negatively by dams. More than 5 million people die from waterborne diseases each year, an extremely high number. Slightly under 1 million people do not have access to safe and clean drinking water.
Freshwater species are disappearing faster than terrestrial or marine species.The main threats to freshwater ecosystems are:Changes to water flowInvasive species Habitat loss Pollution Over-harvesting of water and freshwater species Climate changeThe main causes behind these threats include: AgricultureDam construction Poor water and river basin governance Inconsiderate private sector standards, investments and performance along the supply change.