Monday, February 15, 2016

Four Billion People Affected by Severe Water Scarcity

Lake with less water (Credit: Click to Enlarge.
Global water shortages are far worse than previously thought, with at least two-thirds of the world’s population — four billion people — living with severe water scarcity for at least one month every year, according to new research published in the journal Science Advances.  “If you look at environmental problems, [water scarcity] is certainly the top problem,” said Prof Arjen Hoekstra of the University of Twente in the Netherlands, who led the study.

The new research also revealed that 500 million people live in places where water consumption was twice the amount replenished by rain.  Hoekstra said that many areas are living on borrowed time, such as Yemen, Pakistan, Iran, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia.  Other areas of particular concern include large swaths of Australia and the American Great Plains, which are dependent on the diminishing Ogallala aquifer.  These water problems are exacerbated by population growth and raising meat for consumption, which is highly water-intensive, according to the study.
Hoekstra said caps on water use should be put in place for all river basins, companies should be transparent about how much water is needed to make their products and look to reduce it while investors should incorporate water sustainability into their decision-making.

Read more at Four Billion People Affected by Severe Water Scarcity

No comments:

Post a Comment