How Can We Increase Freshwater Supplies?
- build dams and reservoirs to store runoff
- bring in surface water from another area
- withdraw groundwater
- convert salt water into fresh water (desalinization)
- waste less water
- import food to reduce water use
In developed countries people tend to live where the climate is favorable and then bring in water from another watershed.
For example, since 1900 the US has spent at least $400 billion in building
- flood control levees
to manage and supply farmers and cities with low-cost water and hydroelectric power.
In developing countries, most people (especially the rural poor) must settle where the water is and try to capture the precipitation they need.
They must use irrigation for crops but conventional irrigation techniques are too expensive for many of these rural poor people.
Poverty is the principle cause of hunger, malnutrition and lack of access to sufficient water, regardless of how much water is available.