Considered one of the overpopulated cities in the world, Sao Paulo’s main water reservoir fell below 4% capacity in 2015. It is similar to what had happened with South Africa’s capital Cape Town. The city with a population of 21.7 million people had less than 20 days of water supply to sustain their needs. Police officers even had to be on guard since people started looting water trucks.
The crisis was dubbed as “the Amazon Effect”. The deforestation of the Amazon brought about this drought which affected the entire city’s population. It is feared that more water shortages are to be expected if farmers won’t stop clearing the forests.
Bangalore is nicknamed The Silicon Valley of India. The city’s intense growth of new property developments became too overwhelming for it’s local officials to the point that they struggled to maintain the city’s water and sewage systems.
Similar to China, water pollution is also the main problem for India. Bangalore’s lakes are so polluted that they did not have a single lake that can provide people with drinking water or bathing. 85% of the water could only be used for irrigation and industrial purposes.
Almost 20% of the world’s population belongs to China but they only have about 7% of the world’s freshwater. According to The World Bank, water scarcity happens when people in a specific location receive less than 1,000 cubic meters of freshwater per individual. Citizens of Beijing ended up having only 145 cubic meters per person back in 2014.
A study by Columbia University states that China’s reserves declined by 13% between 2000 and 2009. Water pollution is a major problem as well. It is said that 40% of Beijing’s surface water is too polluted to be used even for industrial or agricultural purposes.
Even the great Nile River is struggling with Egypt’s rapid modernization. The Nile is the primary source of 97% of the country’s water. The sad part is increasing amounts of residential and agricultural waste end up in its waters too. Critical water shortages are foreseen by 2025 according to the United Nations.
Indonesia’s capital faces the threat of rising sea levels like other coastal cities. Since less than half of the city’s inhabitants have access to piped water, the illegal digging of wells became very popular draining the city’s underground aquifers to the point of total deflation. As a result of this bad practice, Jakarta is now prone to flooding and about 40% of the city now lies below sea level
Russia holds 25% of the world’s freshwater in its reserves. It is home to 2 million lakes and 210,000 rivers. Unfortunately, the country struggles with pollution problems brought about by the Soviet era’s industrial legacy. According to studies both groundwater and surface water in the City are polluted. A study in 2017 discovered that the soil and groundwater are contaminated. They found significant concentrations of manganese, copper, lead, and zinc. Other heavy metals were present in the soil and the aquifers.