Water is a resource that is available to everyone, but since it is so abundant in nature, it is frequently misused and taken for granted, especially in third-world countries where knowledge is neither easily accessible nor widely shared in society.
Despite appearances to the contrary, pure water is one of the world’s rarest substances.
In order to sustain a sufficient food supply and a productive environment for all living things, water and water resources are crucial. Global freshwater demand has been rising quickly as human populations and economies expand.
Water shortages seriously degrade biodiversity in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, endangering human food security in addition. Widespread water stress is being experienced in many nations as a result of the adverse consequences of global population growth, climate change impacts, and lifestyle changes.
As a result, people are becoming more and more aware of the essential need for water conservation. Water is necessary for life since it has a significant impact on both public health and the standard of living.
Water is, however, not distributed equitably over the globe. Water is a crucial component that humans need to maintain key functions, including nourishment, respiration, circulation, excretion, and reproduction. In addition to being one of the fundamental elements in the creation of the biological environment, water is also a space for life.
Sources of water in Nigeria
Groundwater that is found underground in voids and fissures in rock, sand, and soil is known as groundwater. Aquifers are geologic formations of soil, sand, and rocks where water is stored and slowly circulated.
Surface water collects on the ground or in a stream, river, lake, reservoir, or ocean. When groundwater rises to the surface, it is known as a spring. Before it gets to your tap, public drinking water systems that use water from streams, rivers, lakes, or reservoirs purify the water.
This water is available for usage and falls when it rains. Rainwater harvesting is the practice of collecting and storing rainwater as opposed to letting it flow off. Rainwater is gathered from a surface that resembles a roof and directed to a container with percolation, such as a tank, cistern, deep pit (well, shaft, or borehole), aquifer, or reservoir, where it seeps down and replenishes the groundwater table.
What causes water scarcity in Nigeria
1. Droughts and Climate Change
Drought is one of the main causes of water scarcity, but there are other causes as well. Dry conditions and a lack of precipitation, like rain, occur over certain areas for a length of time during a drought.
While there are regional and seasonal variations in rainfall, the quality and geographical distribution of the world’s water resources are also being affected by the changing patterns of precipitation brought on by climate change and rising global temperatures. More frequent and intense heat waves aggravate drought conditions and lead to water shortages. Warmer temperatures cause soil moisture to evaporate more quickly.
2. Ineffective water management and rising demand
The world’s population is currently slightly under eight billion, which equates to an increase in water demand under water stress brought on by climate change. Water shortages are mostly caused by urbanization and an exponential rise in household freshwater demands, particularly in areas with unstable water supplies.
3. water contaminant
Water shortages are sometimes a result of unsafe and contaminated water. Already, the annual death toll from water pollution exceeds that from war and all other types of violence put together. Human activity is actively endangering our own water supplies since we only have access to less than 1% of the freshwater on Earth.
Water pollution in Nigeria
Water pollution refers to the presence of harmful chemicals and biological agents in groundwater that go above and beyond what is normally present in the water and may be hazardous to the environment and/or human health.
Additionally, substances that have been added to water bodies as a result of numerous human activities might constitute water contamination. Regardless of the risk they may represent to the environment and human health, any quantity of harmful substances pollutes the water.
Water pollution in Nigeria can take a few forms.
1. Chemical pollution: Different chemicals are the causes of water contamination when they come in contact with water.
2. Radiological pollution: when radioactive substances are the source of water pollution.
3. Biological: when the sources of water pollution include different microorganisms (such as bacterial species and viruses), worms, and/or algae that are present in significant numbers. Animal feces, rotting organic material in water, inappropriate human waste disposal, and other factors all contribute to this sort of pollution.
Nigeria water statistics
According to the Nigerian Bureau of statistics, here are the most important findings about the water situation in Nigeria.
9%: Percentage of Nigerians who have access to basic water, sanitation, and hygiene services.
70%: Percentage of Nigerians who use basic drinking water services.
44%: Percentage of Nigerians who use basic sanitation services.
46Million: Percentage of Nigerians whose households have access to basic hygiene services.
16%: Percentage of households that have access to basic hygiene services.
14%: Percentage of schools that have basic water and sanitation services.
7%: Percentage of health facilities that have basic water and sanitation services.
14%: Percentage of markets and motor parks that have basic water and sanitation services.
11%: Percentage of households had at least one diarrhea case in the past 6 weeks.
Importance of water resources in Nigeria
1. Agricultural development
The Nigerian economy is reported to be based to a good extent on agriculture. The economic modernization of Nigeria can be facilitated by the upgrading of the agricultural sector. Agriculture development is reliant on irrigation capability. A Good irrigation systems are necessary to raise the quality of agricultural goods.
2. Preserving the forest’s resources
Forest resources remain a significant source of energy. As a result of an over-reliance on electricity, the forest has been severely damaged. The efficient use of water resources reduces the amount to which a forest is dependent upon it and helps to preserve it.
3. Growth of the tourist sector
Nigeria has the untapped potential to grow its travel and tourism sector. The water resources in Nigeria can be be a good source of tourism. In our swiftly moving rivers, many extinct sports may be organized, aiding in the promotion of tourism. The growth of the tourist sector contributes to more job opportunities and foreign currency earnings.
4. Hydroelectric power generation
Electricity and its utilization are the foundation of the contemporary economy. Even if there are alternative ways to produce power, hydroelectricity remains the best option for Nigeria. Our water-filled, swiftly moving rivers are said to be the best for generating energy. Electricity is required to run the factories. We are able to sell energy in foreign currencies by making the most use of these water resources.
5. Protection of aquatic animals
Protection of aquatic species is also crucial for preserving biodiversity. Such creatures may be protected throughout the country using water resources. We can even export goods from other countries and use all the foreign money for domestic purposes. Everyday tasks in our lives require the use of water resources. Water resources, i.e., utilized even the pure drinking water is created, are used for domestic activities such as cooking, washing, drinking, bathing, etc.
6. Increase the number of job opportunities.
The best possible utilization of water resources contributes to more job possibilities. Through the growth of the tourism industry and the establishment of hydroelectric projects, there are more job options available in the country, which helps to stop the brain drain.
In order for life to continue, water is crucial. Life is water. Therefore, every choice made and every action taken while on the water is crucial. It is quite significant. We believe that man is the center of nature. We cannot, however, discuss a circumstance like the division of man from nature. A person can have a livable environment if they uphold moral and ethical principles, cherish other living creatures, and act in a way that respects their right to life.
- John Aina Ajibola has a Masters degree as an engineer and has over 3 years of teaching and research experience. He is happiest when on a bike and is also interested in electric energy and computer Science.