Drying up rivers and reservoirs

March 23, 2023, 1:11 p.m.

Rivers around the world have been drying up recently.

It is not just rivers that are running low but the reservoirs they replenish, leading to water shortages in many parts of the world.

The World’s rivers, canals and reservoirs are turning to dust.

Waterways have dried to a trickle thanks to droughts and heat waves that owe their origins to climate change.

From the US to Italy to China, waters have receded, leaving nothing but barren banks of silt and oozing, muddied sand. Canals are empty. Reservoirs have turned to dust.

The world is fully in the grip of accelerating climate change. Losing waterways means a serious risk to shipping routes, agriculture, energy supplies — even drinking water.

Rivers that have been critical to commerce for centuries are now shriveled, threatening the global movement of chemicals, fuel, food and other commodities.

Diminished water levels hobbling electricity generation at many key hydropower plants. Mega cities including Shanghai are turning off lights to curb power use. World’s top makers of batteries for electric vehicles, have shuttered factories.

Drought plaguing the Colorado River — a source of water for 40 million people between Denver and Los Angeles — has gotten so extreme that a second round of drastic water cuts are hitting Arizona, Nevada, and Mexico.

Drought is one of the ‘most destructive’ natural disasters in terms of the loss of life, arising from impacts, such as wide-scale crop failure, wildfires and water stress.

In other words, droughts are one of the “most feared natural phenomena in the world;” they devastate farmland, destroy livelihoods and cause untold suffering, as reported by the world’s top specialised bodies.

They occur when an area experiences a shortage of water supply due to a lack of rainfall or lack of surface or groundwater. And they can last for weeks, months or years.

Exacerbated by land degradation and climate change, droughts are increasing in frequency and severity, up 59% since 2000, with 3 billion people affected every year.

This means that about 97% of the world’s irrigated area and 88% of major cities are to experience at least periodic water shortages. If this trend continues, the scarcity and associated water quality problems will lead to competition and conflicts among water users.

Most of the world already impacted. The alert is loud and strong and it comes from a number of the world’s most knowledgeable organisations.

Between 2001 and 2023 that a staggering 94% of all-natural disasters were water-related.

Currently, over 5.6 billion people have inadequate access to water at least one month per year and this is expected to increase to more than seven billion by 2050.

Drying rivers, lakes. In Africa, major rivers such as the Niger, Volta, Nile and Congo looked terribly dry.

The same trend was observed in rivers in parts of Russia, West Siberia and in Central Asia.

In addition to the life of humans, animals, and plants, one of the sectors that most depend on water–crops is now highly endangered.

Bodies of water all over North America are drying up as a result of drought and a decrease in precipitation.

Rivers around the world have been drying up recently. Rivers all over the world are running really low, especially the Tigress and Euphrates Rivers in Iraq, as well as significant bodies of water in countries like Italy, Romania, France and China.

Do you think this is a problem and how do you think it should be solved?