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Security Council 2050 – The Question of Global Water Scarcity

Freshwater is an essential aspect of humans’ daily lives as it is consumed for more than just drinking – it operates much of the needs of the system we rely on daily. However, its increasing scarcity has proven that it is becoming more and more dangerous to rely on, as our freshwater resources are fare more restricted than we may be led to believe: while 70% of our earth is covered in water, only 3% of it is freshwater. Furthermore, freshwater has decreased over the last 40 years by a significantly appreciable amount – just 25 years ago, over 1.8 billion people lacked access to clean drinking water, and every continent on our planet experienced a level of water shortage with almost two thirds of people living in water stressed conditions. Now, in the summer of 2050, we observe a shocking 5.1 billion people around the world that are affected by water scarcity due to rivers, lakes, aquifers, and streams drying up from increasing global warming and increasing human consumption.

The causes of water scarcity and the issue at hand can be broken into three main categories:

  • Increased human consumption as populations continue to rise
  • Increased global temperatures which limit the water quantities ready for extraction and consumption
  • Lack of global cooperation in freshwater distribution to areas severely lacking potable water

The issue of increased populations does not seem to be something that can be addressed with a resolution – after all, population control is not within our scope. However, the issues of increased global warming and especially global cooperation in freshwater distribution are ones we can tackle through evaluating the currently possible options. It is up to the UNSC to decide what forms of enforcement, regulation, and intervention are required for a successful remedy to an increasingly threatening future. While we can explore individual state options that would help certain nations improve their own access to water, through developed desalination methods or well-digging techniques, we can also discuss a global alliance that provides freshwater to land-locked, arid, or semi-arid nations and areas. However, such a solution would need to be incentivized for nations with a freshwater surplus, which are nations close to the North Pole: Canada with 7% of the world’s renewable freshwater, but only has 0.8% of its population, is an example.

Ultimately, the matter falls within the hands of the global community to find a just and equitable solution for this imminent issue. While it may initially sound simple to agree on some form of international deposit that can then be distributed to those in need, there are many transportation, financial, and of course, political obstacles that need to be worked out for us to reach the ideal resolution of reducing water scarcity in our time to prevent the loss of life and create a habitable planet for our future generations.

*NOTE: P5 countries on Security Council 2050 are USA, Russia, China, Germany, and Brazil.*