Dr. Fader, Deputy Director of ICWRGC, was interviewed within the scope of an article on a growing shortage of water resources. She discussed possible causes such as climate change and its impacts like a rising occurrence of extreme weather events, drought, decreasing precipitation and more frequent torrential rainfall that cannot be absorbed by the soil. Further reasons for water scarcity are increasing agricultural and tourism activities entailing extensive water consumption, especially in arid regions, which in turn results in an overuse of groundwater.
A further problem addressed by Marianela Fader is groundwater pollution by fertilizers, also in Germany. For years, Germany has been exceeding the nitrate threshold for groundwater, just like other EU member states.
Another reason for worldwide water shortage is a rising world population associated with an overuse of groundwater resources caused by extensive agriculture. Subsequently Dr. Fader explains the water footprint of products (the amount of water needed to produce goods) and makes suggestions how to save water. E.g. by entirely dispensing with products requiring a lot of water for their production or by cutting back on private consumption. Dr. Fader explains that water use has to be adapted to climate change, going along with climate protection by sustainable water resources management, e.g. the use of process water instead of drinking water in industry and agriculture.
„Women and Water“ is another essential topic of the interview. Water scarcity has very bad impacts on girls and women. In sub-Saharan Africa, girls and women often have to walk for hours to fetch water. In Latin America and Asia girls and women are also concerned by a lack of sanitation and access to clean water. „If you have to walk for hours to reach a water well, you can’t attend school”, says Marianela Fader. “And bad water causes health problems. This jeopardizes the economic independence of women and girls and promotes gender inequality“