UN Sees Global Water Shortage By 2030

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A UN report says the world would face dire water shortage by 2030 as growing population, falling groundwater level and erratic rainfall induced by global warming, threaten the availability of the precious resource.

Ban Ki-moon, secretary-general of the United Nations, in the 2015 World Water Development Report has warned that by 2030, the world would face a 40 percent water deficit if the "business as usual" climate prevails.

This comes as increased population, like in India and China, rampant urbanization, inappropriate agricultural practices, industrial demand, depleting groundwater, deforestation and pollution put pressure on water availability.

To tackle the problem, the UN report comes out with measures nations need to take, including increasing water prices, recycling waste water and optimizing the use of water in agriculture, and enhancing storage methods.

The report illustrates the complex linkages between water and critical areas such as human health, food and energy security, urbanization, industrial growth and climate change.

Also, the report says that the competition for water increases the risk of localized conflicts and continued inequities in access to services, with impacts on human well-being.

Persistent poverty, inequitable access to water and sanitation services, inadequate financing, and deficient information about the state of water resources and their use, impose further constraints on water resources management, the report says.

Regions such as North America and Europe face the problems of increasing resource use efficiency, reducing waste and pollution, influencing consumption patterns and choosing appropriate technologies.

For Asia and the Pacific region, focus is on equitable distribution, with access to safe water and sanitation. The Arab region's main focus is water scarcity that impedes progress towards sustainable development.

A major priority for the Latin America and the Caribbean region is to build the formal institutional capacity to manage water resources. And for Africa, the aim is to achieve durable participation in the global economy while developing its natural resources in a optimal manner.

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