Blog Post 2: the Freshwater Crisis and Anthropocentric Flooding

The Global South is suffering from lack of fresh water. Africa, India, and several places in South America, all have thousands of families dying from thirst and disease. Soon enough it won’t just be waterborne diseases killing these people, but the massive floods crashing over these coastal cities and towns that are too poor to defend themselves or find shelter.

The coastal cities in the Global South that are suffering from poverty only have the technology to protect themselves from possible flooding now, not the devastating floods that are to come due to climate change. According to a recent study from the Organization and Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) the top ten cities that are at risk from severe coastal flooding are Guangzhou, Miami, New York, New Orleans, Mumbai, Nagoya, Tampa, Boston, Shenzen, and Osaka. 50% of those cities are in the United States alone and therefore have an extremely high chance of keeping all of their citizens safe and sound. Aside from New Orleans those cities don’t have much to worry about while the other 50% are the most vulnerable to future flood damage.

While anthropocentric climate change also causes high risk for disease because of the rising temperatures, a severely high risk for malaria in all of Africa, and also critical drought sweeping Africa and Asia causing crop failure and starvation, the flooding is something that no one can prepare for. While the people in these developing countries have been battling poverty, and starvation during these droughts they have not been prepared for the grave flooding that will sweep the coasts if the world continues on its self destructive path. (worldbank.org)

The video above discusses how 80% of the countries that are negatively effected by river flooding are only fifteen countries and are all developing areas. NASA predicts that global sea levels will rise another 2.5-10 cm by 2100, causing some of the largest developing cities like Cairo, Mumbai, and Shanghai, to be completely submerged.

Anthropocentric climate change is not only affecting coastal flooding but the freshwater crisis in these developing countries. “More than 50 percent of the World’s freshwater comes from mountain run off and snow melt.” (gracelinks.org) Glaciers are one of the most important sources of freshwater on the planet and once one or several have melted they don’t replenish and that source of freshwater is lost forever. World Agriculture alone accounts for 70% of the World’s water usage and continues to rise due to anthropocentric induced drought. “Almost 80% of diseases in so called ‘developing’ are associated with water, causing some three million early deaths. For example, 5,000 children die everyday from diarrhea, or one every 17 seconds.” (worldmeters.info).

It is sad to think that so many people are dying from the freshwater crisis in these developing countries when it is highly possible that they will die from floods of water that they had been so severely lacking.

Resources:

http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2013/08/19/coastal-cities-at-highest-risk-floods

http://www.worldometers.info/water/

http://www.gracelinks.org/2380/the-impact-of-climate-change-on-water-resources

3 thoughts on “Blog Post 2: the Freshwater Crisis and Anthropocentric Flooding”

  1. Cool post Liz. You inspired me to look into this topic for my next blog. The rising sea level issue is a serious concern for a lot of developing nations and cities that are on a coastline. I’m intrigued to explore how developing cities are planning for this issue, because I have been hearing a lot about this whole “cities under water” deal.
    Keep bloggin!

  2. Liz, the statistic that you put in the end about children dying from water was shocking. The freshwater crisis is an important issue that definitely needs to be payed more attention to. What do you think is the most effective way to help provide drinkable water to these countries? I look forward to reading more of your blog posts about the environment!

  3. I loved reading about the different areas of the world that will be negatively affected by sea level rise. However, I think your blog would benefit greatly by mentioning who is responsible for the majority of climate change.

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