Alemayehu N. Emana and Misganaw E. Dubie
Fresh water is a limited resource central to sustainable development the inadequate protection of which can set important limits to the latter. Currently, there is a growing global fresh water crisis which is manifested by fresh water over-drafting, fresh water pollution, insufficient access to safe drinking water, and regional conflicts over inadequate fresh water supply. Indeed, freshwater crisis is a crisis of governance as scarce water resources are allocated inefficiently, unregulated pollution compromises water quality, weak water service providers fail to serve the public and social and environmental concerns are left unaddressed. The uneven distribution of fresh water over time and space and the way human activity is affecting the distribution today are fundamental sources of fresh water crises in many parts of the world including Ethiopia. Fresh water crisis manifests itself in Ethiopia mainly in the form of complete dry up and/or decline in the levels of lakes; water hyacinth infestation; water quality deterioration; insufficient access to clean drinking water; inefficiency and competition in irrigation. A wide range of human activities affect the availability and quality of fresh water especially in areas with a high population density, concentrated industrial activity, and intensive agriculture. Deforestation, open grazing, water abstraction, excessive use of agrochemicals, poor solid waste management and discharge of untreated industrial effluents are the common practices adversely contributing to the fresh water crisis in Ethiopia. Sustainable development is impossible without sound fresh water management and integrated water resources management is essential to enhance the value obtained from freshwater resource and ensure its sustainability. There is also a need to adopt more water use efficiency measures along with integrated management of water resources in watersheds for sustaining the development measures.
Published Date: 2021-03-25; Received Date: 2021-03-04