Author: Anna Bruce-Lockhart | Source: weforum
All around the world, safe and drinkable water is drying up, from China’s disappearing rivers to the empty reservoirs of Brazil. Raising awareness of the impending global crisis is Mina Guli, businesswoman and founder of water conservation charity Thirst, who is running the equivalent of 40 marathons, across seven deserts in seven continents – in just seven weeks.
“Most people don’t know that we’re going to run out of usable water,” says Guli, a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum, where a survey of 750 experts rated water scarcity the number one risk to global society over the next decade. “By 2030, there will be a 40% difference between the demand for water and the supply of water available. We’ve got 15 years to solve the water problem,” she says.
In the past two decades, 55% of China’s rivers have disappeared due to industrial use. More than 70% of the western United States has been hit by drought, resulting in a loss to the Californian economy of around $2.7 billion. Increasing water stress is poised to trigger a global food crisis. “We think that it’s not going to be us any time soon,” says Guli, “but the reality is, it is going to be us sometime soon.”
Guli’s purpose, she says, is “to experience and document the grassroots effects of water shortages across the globe”.
“I hope to raise awareness of the water crisis and inspire the next generation to believe they can make a difference by pledging to do just one thing each day to reduce their water consumption. Small steps, each day, because every drop counts.”