Water scarcity

"Occurs when the freshwater demands linked to specific social, economic and environmental needs of a community exceed the available water supply." (United Nations Publications, 2013)

Sources

United Nations Publications. "Glossary of Shared Water Resources (English-Arabic): Technical, Socioeconomic and Legal Terminology." (2013). DOI:https://dx.doi.org/10.18356/70b462ce-en

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Article

Interview with Sawaid Abbas, Assistant Professor at the Centre for Geographical Information, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan

Sawaid Abbas, Assistant Professor at the Centre for Geographical Information System, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan discussed his extensive work in addressing water-related challenges through the nexus between smart sensing and space technologies. His thematic focus spans water scarcity, food security, climate risks, and environmental monitoring with an emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region, including Pakistan and China. Key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) guiding his work include SDG2 (Zero Hunger), SDG13 (Climate Action), SDG15 (Life on Land), and SDG11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities).  Abbas's passion for water emerged during his early career at the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), where he was involved in Pakistan’s Wetland Program and witnessed the impact of water on associated ecosystems. This sparked his interest in understanding and managing water, forestry, and wildlife resources. He recently studied coastal ecosystems and their responses to climate and anthropogenic stressors in the Asia-Pacific region. The Living Indus – Investing in Ecological Restoration has become a new focus of interest for him, addressing sustainability challenges related to food security, river basin management, and efficient water use in alignment with the UN Decade of Ocean objectives.  Abbas shared his fascination with water, recognizing its complex and essential nature. He is captivated by its beauty in all forms and acknowledges its fundamental importance for life on Earth. This water connection further motivates his commitment to addressing global water challenges and promoting sustainable water use through innovative solutions.  Sawaid Abbas's work, stimulated by both professional commitment and personal fascination, stresses the critical role of space technologies, particularly earth observation, smart sensing nexus, and artificial intelligence in addressing water-related challenges. His research contributes to the development of innovative solutions for sustainable water use, environmental protection, and disaster response, aligning with global goals for a more resilient and water-secure future. 

Interview with Dr. Sherine Ahmed El Baradei

The following interview with Dr. Sherine Ahmed El Baradei is focusing on water quality and its relation to space technology. Water is the essence of life. Thus preservation of water quality is of a big concern to human health and to fauna and flora in water bodies. The interview explains what is water quality and what are water quality parameters of water bodies. Furthermore, the importance of using space technologies and applications in contributing to water quality monitoring and determination of hydraulic and hydrologic conditions is thoroughly discussed. For example, temporal resolution of satellites and their role in obtaining accurate imaging and data is clarified and the satellites concerned with water quality monitoring are pointed out. Considering the important role of groundwater in arid regions, the use of GRACE Mission data in Egypt is mentioned. Moreover, key influences on water quality in Egypt are discussed and the relation of water quality to water scarcity in the country and ways to preserve water quality is being discussed. Furthermore, the potential of space-based monitoring used to address water issues from hydrological to water resources issues in the country or region is pointed out. The challenges of the use of space technology for hydrology and water-related topics in the MENA region is also discussed. Light is shed on the project done by NASA to recycle astronauts’ waste into energy and power. Sustainability is of a great importance to or communities, and thus it is discussed how sustainable it is to build cities in the desert, or to divert water to where people are instead of moving people to existing water sources. Finally, a discussion about ways we can employ to improve awareness and capacity building on the use of space technology for water and challenges in this field are discussed.

Hydro-diplomacy: The role of space-derived data in advancing water security

Water scarcity is one of the greatest threats faced by humanity of our time – in 2019, more than two billion people experience high water stress (UN-Water 2019) and approximately four billion people suffer from severe water scarcity for at least one month per year (Mekonnen and Hoekstra 2016). This worsening problem increases the risk of international conflict over water resources breaking out, given that there are over 270 transboundary river basins, and three-quarters of UN Member States share at least one river or lake basin with a neighbour (UN News 2017).

Urban Water Scarcity: How data from NASA’s GRACE-FO Mission can be used for (near) real time water management

As population becomes larger the demand for water soars, including water needed for domestic, industrial and municipal uses (Mogelgaard 2011). One example of that, is India, where on 20 June 2019 the city of Chennai almost run out of water. Satellite images show the extent of the water shortage in the city (figure 1). While people are queuing up to get water from water trucks that transfer water to the city, the greatest struggle is taking place in the city’s municipal buildings and businesses. Hospitals are facing the threat of not having enough water to treat patients and to clean equipment, and businesses are forced to shut down and wait until the crisis is over.

Escasez urbana de agua: cómo pueden utilizarse los datos de la misión GRACE-FO de la NASA para la gestión del agua (casi) en tiempo real

As population becomes larger the demand for water soars, including water needed for domestic, industrial and municipal uses (Mogelgaard 2011). One example of that, is India, where on 20 June 2019 the city of Chennai almost run out of water. Satellite images show the extent of the water shortage in the city (figure 1). While people are queuing up to get water from water trucks that transfer water to the city, the greatest struggle is taking place in the city’s municipal buildings and businesses. Hospitals are facing the threat of not having enough water to treat patients and to clean equipment, and businesses are forced to shut down and wait until the crisis is over.

United Nations/Ghana/PSIPW - 5th International conference on the use of space technology for water resources management

From 10 to 13 May 2022, the United Nations Officer for Outer Space Affairs organized the 5th International conference on the use of space technology for water resources management. The conference was hosted in a hybrid format in Accra, Ghana, by the University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani on behalf of the Government of Ghana. The event was attended by several senior government representatives of the host country including Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, the Honorary Minister of Education Dr.

Pénuries d'Eau en Milieu Urbain : Comment les Données de la Mission GRACE-FO de la NASA Peuvent-Elles Soutenir la Gestion de l'Eau en Temps Quasi-Réel ?

Plus la population augmente, plus la demande en eau augmente, notamment l'eau nécessaire aux usages domestiques, industriels et municipaux (Mogelgaard 2011). L'Inde en est un bon exemple : le 20 juin 2019, la ville de Chennai a failli manquer d'eau. Des images satellites ont montré l'ampleur de la pénurie d'eau dans la ville (schéma 1). Alors que les habitants faisaient la queue pour de l'eau stockée dans des camions-citernes qui la rendaient disponible dans la ville, le véritable défi de gestion concernait les bâtiments municipaux et les entreprises de la ville. La pénurie d´eau a gravement affecté la capacité des hôpitaux à soigner les patients et à nettoyer les équipements, et a contraint les entreprises à fermer leurs portes jusqu'à la fin de la crise.

Interview with Sawaid Abbas, Assistant Professor at the Centre for Geographical Information, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan

Sawaid Abbas, Assistant Professor at the Centre for Geographical Information System, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan discussed his extensive work in addressing water-related challenges through the nexus between smart sensing and space technologies. His thematic focus spans water scarcity, food security, climate risks, and environmental monitoring with an emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region, including Pakistan and China. Key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) guiding his work include SDG2 (Zero Hunger), SDG13 (Climate Action), SDG15 (Life on Land), and SDG11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities).  Abbas's passion for water emerged during his early career at the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), where he was involved in Pakistan’s Wetland Program and witnessed the impact of water on associated ecosystems. This sparked his interest in understanding and managing water, forestry, and wildlife resources. He recently studied coastal ecosystems and their responses to climate and anthropogenic stressors in the Asia-Pacific region. The Living Indus – Investing in Ecological Restoration has become a new focus of interest for him, addressing sustainability challenges related to food security, river basin management, and efficient water use in alignment with the UN Decade of Ocean objectives.  Abbas shared his fascination with water, recognizing its complex and essential nature. He is captivated by its beauty in all forms and acknowledges its fundamental importance for life on Earth. This water connection further motivates his commitment to addressing global water challenges and promoting sustainable water use through innovative solutions.  Sawaid Abbas's work, stimulated by both professional commitment and personal fascination, stresses the critical role of space technologies, particularly earth observation, smart sensing nexus, and artificial intelligence in addressing water-related challenges. His research contributes to the development of innovative solutions for sustainable water use, environmental protection, and disaster response, aligning with global goals for a more resilient and water-secure future. 

Interview with Alicia Simón Sisimit, Kaqchikel Journalist and activist at DDASO Project

Short description of the Kaqchikel community

The municipality of San José Poaquil was founded on November 1, 1891. It is located in the department of Chimaltenango with a territorial extension of approximately 100 km² and has almost 30 000 inhabitants. It is one of the 16 municipalities that make up the department of Chimaltenango. It is located in the west of the Republic of Guatemala at a distance of 101 kilometers from the Capital City and distance 47 kilometers from the Departmental Capital.

Interview with Dr. Sherine Ahmed El Baradei

The following interview with Dr. Sherine Ahmed El Baradei is focusing on water quality and its relation to space technology. Water is the essence of life. Thus preservation of water quality is of a big concern to human health and to fauna and flora in water bodies. The interview explains what is water quality and what are water quality parameters of water bodies. Furthermore, the importance of using space technologies and applications in contributing to water quality monitoring and determination of hydraulic and hydrologic conditions is thoroughly discussed. For example, temporal resolution of satellites and their role in obtaining accurate imaging and data is clarified and the satellites concerned with water quality monitoring are pointed out. Considering the important role of groundwater in arid regions, the use of GRACE Mission data in Egypt is mentioned. Moreover, key influences on water quality in Egypt are discussed and the relation of water quality to water scarcity in the country and ways to preserve water quality is being discussed. Furthermore, the potential of space-based monitoring used to address water issues from hydrological to water resources issues in the country or region is pointed out. The challenges of the use of space technology for hydrology and water-related topics in the MENA region is also discussed. Light is shed on the project done by NASA to recycle astronauts’ waste into energy and power. Sustainability is of a great importance to or communities, and thus it is discussed how sustainable it is to build cities in the desert, or to divert water to where people are instead of moving people to existing water sources. Finally, a discussion about ways we can employ to improve awareness and capacity building on the use of space technology for water and challenges in this field are discussed.

Interview with Nokubonga Mazibuko, Commissioner at the Commission on Khoi-San Matters, South Africa

Disclaimer!

I should note that this interview does not aim to compare the San women of Platfontein with the Zulu women from Folweni as these are totally different communities. Also, as much as I am a Commissioner, this interview is not done on behalf of the Commission on Khoi-San Matters (CKSM) but on my personal capacity as a researcher and academic who has an interest on issues pertaining to women.

Interview with Lilian Nguracha Balanga, Founder of Women.conserve

Short description of the Samburu community

The Samburu community is the Nilotic ethnic community of North Central Kenya. They dress in red shukas and adorn themselves with necklaces, bracelets and anklets mostly from beads. They believe in God Nkai, living in the mountains. They are nomadic are pastoralists, meaning that they keep animals (e.g., cows, goats, sheep and camel) which is their main source of livelihood as they get milk, meat and blood for self consumption and/or to be sold. They move from place to place in search of pasture and water.

European Space Agency’s “Water Scarcity” Kick-Start

The challenge

Water is one of the most important substances on Earth and covers 70% of the planet. However, freshwater makes up a very small fraction with 97% being saline and ocean-based. While the amount of freshwater on the planet has remained fairly constant over time, the world’s population has exploded, meaning that freshwater is threatened by significant forces, like overdevelopment, polluted runoff, and global warming. 

Interview with Nokubonga Mazibuko, Commissioner at the Commission on Khoi-San Matters, South Africa

Disclaimer!

I should note that this interview does not aim to compare the San women of Platfontein with the Zulu women from Folweni as these are totally different communities. Also, as much as I am a Commissioner, this interview is not done on behalf of the Commission on Khoi-San Matters (CKSM) but on my personal capacity as a researcher and academic who has an interest on issues pertaining to women.

Interview with Lilian Nguracha Balanga, Founder of Women.conserve

Short description of the Samburu community

The Samburu community is the Nilotic ethnic community of North Central Kenya. They dress in red shukas and adorn themselves with necklaces, bracelets and anklets mostly from beads. They believe in God Nkai, living in the mountains. They are nomadic are pastoralists, meaning that they keep animals (e.g., cows, goats, sheep and camel) which is their main source of livelihood as they get milk, meat and blood for self consumption and/or to be sold. They move from place to place in search of pasture and water.

Interview with Alicia Simón Sisimit, Kaqchikel Journalist and activist at DDASO Project

Short description of the Kaqchikel community

The municipality of San José Poaquil was founded on November 1, 1891. It is located in the department of Chimaltenango with a territorial extension of approximately 100 km² and has almost 30 000 inhabitants. It is one of the 16 municipalities that make up the department of Chimaltenango. It is located in the west of the Republic of Guatemala at a distance of 101 kilometers from the Capital City and distance 47 kilometers from the Departmental Capital.

Event

Local Perspectives Case Studies

Stakeholder

Remote Sensing, GIS and Climatic Research Lab, University of the Punjab

The emerging demand of GIS and Space Applications for Climate Change studies for the socio-economic development of Pakistan along with Government of Pakistan Vision 2025, Space Vision 2047 of National Space Agency of Pakistan, and achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) impelled the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) to establish Remote Sensing, GIS and Climatic Research Lab (RSGCRL) at University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan.

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