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Humanity is wasting as much as 24% of freshwater in all regions worldwide that are served by 11,000 water basins, an exhaustive scientific study published by the American Chemical Society in the journal Environmental Science & Technology on September 2, 2020 (September 3, 2020 in Manila).

Coming in the form of precipitation or from groundwater beneath the soil, freshwater will become a scarce resource unless the entire human population starts becoming rational enough to act as better stewards.

Masaharu Motoshita, Stephan Pfister and Matthias Finkbeiner said in the study entitled “Regional Carrying Capacities of Freshwater Consumption—Current Pressure and Its Sources” carried by Environmental Science & Technology calculated the freshwater in about 11,000 watersheds around the world and compared that amount with the water consumed in that region for basic human needs as well as luxury use.

“They found that about 24% of total freshwater used by humans in these watersheds exceeded regional capacities, often at the expense of ecosystems. About 59% of this overconsumption was to satisfy basic human needs, while the rest was luxury use. In many areas, overconsumption occurred only at certain times of the year. International trade alleviated about 4.8% of global overconsumption. Although options to reduce water overconsumption vary by region, some possibilities include improving irrigation efficiency, shifting to less water-intensive crops or different production sites, increasing water storage in reservoirs, reducing food waste and changing food consumption patterns,” ScienceDaily reported the researchers as saying.

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