Averting Asia’s Water Crisis – Asian Scientist Magazine

AsianScientist (March 16, 2022) – For many communities around the world, rivers and seas are their lifeline. To meet nutritional needs, fishermen transport their marine catch, while farmers need a constant flow of water to irrigate their farmland. For sanitation, clean water and livelihood security, access to clean water is arguably the most vital resource. Asia, however, faces a snowballing water crisis.

More than half of the world’s population resides in Asia, with urban population growth expected to increase by 60% by 2025. Yet the region has less freshwater, just under 4,000 cubic meters allocated to each person per year, than every other continent on the planet except Antarctica. By 2030, freshwater demand will far exceed supply by 40% if interventions are not put in place.

The effects of such a water shortage are already tangible today. Take India, for example, where more than 90 million people lack access to safe drinking water and nearly 230 million lack access to improved sanitation facilities, such as proper sewage systems and private toilets. While many households continue to depend on untreated surface or groundwater, the health and economic toll is on the rise: 21% of cases of communicable diseases in India are linked to water stress.

Indonesia faces a similar situation with groundwater dependence, as less than half the population had access to piped water in the 1990s, playing a role in the sinking of Jakarta’s landmass today. today. While targets were to improve coverage to 98% by 2017, the actual figure was just under 60%.

As climate change and water scarcity collide, communities may be increasingly burdened by frequent disasters, deteriorating health and a planet sinking in untreated water. With urgency, scientists and innovators are turning to the pinnacle of high-performance computing (HPC) – exascale computing – to turn the tide in Asia and the global water crisis.

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