Lack of water and droughts in South Africa, Iran and Europe

Prolonged and regular power outages in South Africa result in water supply problems in upland Johannesburg and Pretoria. The water should get there thanks to a system of electric pumps. The lack of energy has highlighted the problems caused by poorly maintained infrastructure – due to leaks, South Africa loses 70 million litres of treated, clean drinking water daily. More prosperous residents invest in private boreholes to get to water sources, and the poor sometimes live without electricity and water for several days.

The Iranian province of Sistan and Baluchistan may run out of water within three months, and its scarcity exacerbates tensions with its neighbours, Turkey and Afghanistan. You cannot fish, farm, or breed animals in deserted villages. There is a growing mass migration of people to cities. Due to the drought, however, there are interruptions in the water supply to major cities, including Tehran. Urmia, the largest salt lake in the Middle East, and its livelihoods are disappearing. According to experts, Iran is a water bankrupt and its groundwater resources and wetlands are irreversibly depleted.

After three years of drought, the River Derwent in the English Lake District has completely disappeared in some of its parts. This happened, e.g. in Seathwaite, which until recently was considered one of the wettest places in England. In Spain, a long-term drought destroyed the nesting sites of flamingos and other birds in the saltwater marshes of Fuente de Piedra, where up to 20,000 flamingos per day could have been observed.

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