Global Oil Situation in the 20th Century and the Water Situation in the 21st Century

During the 20th century: around the 1970s, the world experienced a great oil crisis. This started after oil producer in Arab countries imposed a global embargo. The Arab oil producers reduced their supply and the global supply of oil declined at a high rate. The world still needed oil for various purposes such as fueling cars, ships, airplanes, and driving industrial machines. However, due to the embargo, the oil supply could not meet the global demand. Some countries such as Britain started to ration oil to the consumers using left over coupons of the WWII. In other countries, people could spend hours queuing at the few gas stations, which had gasoline, only to be allowed to purchase a few liters of the product. Transportation almost came to a standstill as supply of energy for vehicles, ships, and planes fell short.

In comparison with the global water situation in the 21st century, the world is currently experiencing water crisis. The demand for water is higher than its supply. The major cause of this crisis is depletion of natural sources of water, increased global population, and global warming. People are spending hours on queues waiting to fetch the highly rationed commodity just the way people spent hours in gas stations in the 1970s. Similar to the oil rationing of the 1970s, Australia is a good example of a country, which has employed strict water rationing programs since 2009. Moreover, California farmers have also employed strict water rationing programs.

Over the years, the world has been depending on oil as the main source of energy. In the 20th century, oil was the main source of energy in the transportation industry. However, in the 21st century, electricity is slowly being adopted as an alternative source of energy in the transportation sector as electric vehicles and trains start operating in the market.

Similarly, the world purely depends on water for domestic purposes such as cleaning and cooking. However, unlike the case of oil where alternative sources of energy are emerging, currently, there is no substitute for water in cleaning and cooking. If the world was to run dry today, people would not clean nor cook.

The large dependence on water in the midst of declining water supply in the world today is an indication that in the near future, the world will be facing very serious water problems. Currently, only 1 percent of the world’s water is viable for domestic uses. As the world population continues to increase, this percentage is declining and within the next 50 years, it is likely that there will be no fresh water if nothing is done to control the population and conserve the natural sources of fresh water.

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