Thursday, October 07, 2021

The World's Water Problem

 About half of the world’s population will suffer from water insecurity by 2050, found The State of Climate Services 2021: Water , a new report from the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The report said:
"More than 2 billion people are living in countries under water stress and 3.6 billion people face inadequate access to water at least one month per year. Meanwhile, water-related hazards have increased in frequency for the past 20 years. Since 2000, flood-related disasters have increased by 134%, most deaths and economic losses occurred in Asia, where warning systems require strengthening, the number and duration of droughts also increased by 29%, and most deaths were in Africa, again indicating the need for stronger warning systems."

The report said:

"    In 2018, some 3.6 billion people globally had inadequate access to water for one month per year, which is expected to surpass five billion by 2050.
    In 2020, more than 20% of the world’s river basins had experienced either rapid increases in their surface water area indicative of flooding, a growth in reservoirs and newly inundated land; or rapid declines in surface water area indicating drying up of lakes, reservoirs, wetlands, floodplains and seasonal water bodies. Rapid changes in surface water extent and availability are contributing to elevated disaster risks and potentially negatively affecting water-dependent sectors, e.g. agriculture, energy. More than 80% of wetlands are estimated to have been lost since the pre-industrial era. Despite an average of 58% of countries’ transboundary basin areas having an operational arrangement for water cooperation, only 24 countries reported that all their transboundary basins are covered by such.
    Globally, 56% of household wastewater flows was safely treated in 2020, with regional values ranging from 25 to 80%, indicating that progress remains uneven across the globe. Data from 42 countries reporting on the generation and treatment of total wastewater flows indicate that less than a third received at least some treatment in 2015. The situation is similar for industrial wastewater flows, although here data are only available for 14 countries. In all world regions, and in low-, medium- and high-income countries alike, many water bodies were still in good condition; in 2020, 60% of water bodies assessed in 89 countries had good ambient water quality. However, water quality data are not collected routinely in a majority of countries; especially lower income countries rely on relatively few measurements from relatively few water bodies and lack suitable environmental water quality standards. 

Therefore global status and trends cannot be completely assessed."

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