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Scarcity of Products for Sustenance

Last updated date: 22nd Mar 2024
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What is the Source of Our Scarcity?

We look at the ocean and remind ourselves that water is plentiful and will last us forever. Let's take a break before we get too far into this. But one wonders why this is true, given that money was developed by us to connect a human to his wants. However, we as a species have chosen to associate this exact same money with a bad meaning.

We have degraded to the point where we no longer care about the water, food, and shelter that is supplied to us. Consider this: half of the world feasts and wastes enough food to feed the other half. This is one of the reasons for these difficult times.

It is a very simple leap to conclude that greed is at the foundation of all these tragedies. We prefer to believe that we have kept our own greed under control, but this is not always the case. Look around you; water scarcity and food scarcity are everywhere.

Types of Scarcity

One must understand that scarcity cannot be wished away. It is an unavoidable fact of economic existence. We don't have a track record of using it wisely. However, the need for resource stewardship and environmental sustainability is urgent. The oceans are draining, causing water scarcity, while glaciers are melting as a result of global warming.

The world's resources are not what one would call equitable or fair. The majority of people in developing countries face water and food scarcity. Not only are humans suffering, but the animal kingdom is also suffering as a result of the human race's selfishness.

Water Scarcity

Water scarcity is one of the most serious issues since it causes people to die. We waste water because it is abundant, but we fail to mention the countries and regions where getting a glass of clean water to drink is a challenging chore. Water scarcity impacts not just humans but also animals. A number of the root reasons of water scarcity are listed below:

  • Ignorance leads to excessive water use.

  • Pollution in the Water

  • State-to-state political conflict

  • Natural disasters such as drought.

Food Scarcity

Another challenge that the globe is dealing with is food scarcity. Food scarcity is also known as famine, which refers to an extreme scarcity and severe shortage of food. Famine is a food scarcity caused by a variety of environmental factors. The following are some of the causes of food scarcity:

  • Unbalanced population

  • Water scarcity or a lack of rainfall

  • Natural disasters

  • Failure of crops

  • Policies of the government

Scarce Goods

A scarce good has more quantity demanded compared to quantity supplied at a price of $0. Scarcity is the possible existence of conflict over the possession of any finite good. We can say that, for any scarce good, at times, control and ownership excludes the control of someone else.

Scarcity falls into 3 distinctive categories: supply-induced, demand-induced, and structural. Demand-induced scarcity takes place when the resource demand increases and the supply stays similar. Supply-induced scarcity takes place when a supply is very low to the demand. This mostly happens due to environmental degradation, such as drought and deforestation. At the same time, structural scarcity takes place when the population part doesn't have equal access to resources because of the location or political conflicts.

Nonscarce Goods

On the other side, there exist nonscarce goods. These goods do not require to be valueless, and a few can even be indispensable for one's existence. As Frank Fetter, in his Economic Principles, explains: "A few things, even which are indispensable to existence, may yet, due to their abundance, fail to be desired objects and of choice. Such things are referred to as free goods.

Importance of Scarcity

Scarcity is one of the most critical factors impacting supply and demand. Scarcity of commodities has a substantial impact on competition in any price-based market. Because scarce commodities are often in higher demand, they frequently attract higher costs. This is why high-end cellphones and designer clothing are more expensive than their more plentiful competitors. Problems develop when vital resources for societal function grow limited over time.

Scarcity affects more than just products and natural resources. Everything that can be used can be called a resource. Oil, coal, and precious metals are common examples. When these commodities become limited, businesses' ability to reach production targets can suffer.

Important Questions

1. What do you mean by water scarcity?

Ans: Shortage of water denotes either scarcity of availability due to physical scarcity or scarcity of access due to a lack of daily delivery by institutions or a lack of adequate infrastructure. Water scarcity now affects every continent.

2. How does a lack of water affect the environment?

Ans: The overuse of water as a result of water scarcity, especially in irrigation agriculture, is harmful to the ecosystem in a variety of ways, including increased salinity, nitrogen degradation, and the depletion of floodplains and wetlands.

3. How is water squandered?

Ans: One of the most common ways individuals waste water whether brushing their teeth, shaving, or doing the dishes is by leaving the water running. Turn off the water as soon as you start cleaning, shaving, or doing the dishes.


Scarcity refers to a fundamental economic problem—the disparity between limited resources and theoretically infinite needs. To meet basic needs and as many additional wants as feasible in this situation, people must decide how to spend resources effectively.

Any resource with a non-zero cost to consume is scarce to some extent, but relative scarcity is what matters in practice. Scarcity is sometimes known as "paucity."

Competitive Exams after 12th Science

FAQs on Scarcity of Products for Sustenance

1. Explain the Terms Scarcity, Sufficiency, and Abundance?

Let us discuss the terms scarcity, sufficiency, and abundance as follows.

  • Relative scarcity is defined as a condition where multiple and different human requirements are greater compared to the available quantities with alternative uses.

  • Relative sufficiency is described as the condition where multiple and different human requirements and the available quantities with alternative uses are said to be equal.

  • Relative abundance can be described as the condition where the available quantities of useful goods, including alternative uses, are greater than the multiple and different human requirements.

2. List Some Examples of Scarcity?

Effect of Hurricanes - On a few occasions, Hurricanes which are around the Gulf Coast of the USA incapacitate oil refineries and render them useless, at least for a specific period. When this occurs, again, in accordance with the Pricing Theory, the price of the crude oil resultantly increases.

3. How Scarcity Affects Countries?

Factors such as production costs and labour majorly affect the cost of scarce items. If resources meet the unlimited wants and needs of a specific good, then it is not considered a scarce good. This would need the resources to be unlimited also for it to meet the unlimited demand.

4. List the Primary Factors of Scarcity?

Let us look at the major factors of scarcity.

  • Overpopulation

  • Unlimited wants

  • Limited resource count, and more.

5. What are some of the most pressing scarcity issues?

Scarcity of resources can result in widespread issues such as famine, drought, and even conflict. The persistent presence of shortage in the majority of the world necessitates results in finding out:

  • Causes of a chasm between affluent and poor countries

  • Reasons why have some countries seen higher rates of economic growth than others

  • Independent of previous economic progress, do certain countries develop at a quick and consistent pace while others do not

  • Steps to alleviate poverty and promote economic growth

6. What are the consequences of water scarcity?

Water scarcity's implications can be found in four broad fields: wellness, hunger, education, and insecurity. People are dying. Less water also implies that sewage does not flow, and mosquitoes, like most insects, breed in still (stagnant) dirty water. Malaria and other deadly infections are the result.

When water runs out, people cannot drink, wash, or feed crops, and the economy may suffer. Inadequate sanitation, which affects 2.4 billion people, can also lead to severe diarrheal diseases such as cholera and typhoid fever, as well as other water-borne infections.

7. What are the economic consequences of a lack of water?

Water scarcity influences the price of exchanged goods and services in a global economy. Water scarcity will result in trade losses for countries that manufacture water-intensive items. Water scarcity has a cascading effect on communities: local commerce suffers, earnings fall, tax revenues fall, population falls owing to a lack of work prospects, and cities and surrounding towns shrink dangerously. Every 1 unit money invested in water and sanitation yields a 4 units money economic return in the form of decreased health-care expenses, increased productivity, and fewer early deaths.