Communities all across the globe suffer from a severe lack of drinkable water. Many people think of water scarcity as an issue exclusive to desert regions and the dry continent of Africa. On the contrary, due to climate change, drought, explosive population growth, pollution and poor water management, it’s clear that in the 21st century water scarcity is not isolated to just one region.
Earth is expected to add another 1.2 billion people to its population by 2030, meaning that the need for water will increase by 30 percent. With most of world’s aquifers already over-exploited or undrinkable due to bacteria and man-made pollution, the need for an alternative water supply is suddenly elevated to an unprecedented level of importance. As a result, more and more countries are turning to desalination as a solution, because whether it’s salt or bacteria, reverse osmosis removes all harmful contaminates in one process.
To better understand this global challenge, let’s look at the largest countries in the world and how they are dealing with water scarcity. The list below represents some of the largest countries on each continent, excluding Antarctica, and their plight to pursue membrane-based water treatment as a practical alternative for obtaining drinkable water.