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| Last Updated:23/01/2020

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World will have only 60 pc of water it needs by 2030: UN

 The Hindu, New Delhi, 20 Mar, 2015



Annual World Water Development Report predicts global water demand will increase by 55 pc by 2050, while reserves dwindle.


The world could suffer a 40 percent shortfall in water in 15 years unless countries dramatically change their use of the resource, a U.N. report warned Friday.


Many underground water reserves are already running low, while rainfall patterns are predicted to become more erratic with climate change. As the world’s population grows to an expected 9 billion by 2050, more groundwater will be needed for farming, industry and personal consumption.


The report predicts global water demand will increase by 55 percent by 2050, while reserves dwindle. If current usage trends don’t change, the world will have only 60 percent of the water it needs in 2030, it said.


“Unless the balance between demand and finite supplies is restored, the world will face an increasingly severe global water deficit,” the annual World Water Development Report said, noting that more efficient use could guarantee enough supply in the future.


In many countries including India, water use is largely unregulated and often wasteful. Pollution of water is often ignored and unpunished. At least 80 percent of India’s population relies on groundwater for drinking to avoid often unsafe surface water. Currently, about 748 million people worldwide have poor access to clean drinking water, the report said. “Unsustainable development pathways and governance failures have affected the quality and availability of water resources, compromising their capacity to generate social and economic benefits,” it said. “Economic growth itself is not a guarantee for wider social progress.”


The report, released in New Delhi two days before World Water Day, urges policymakers and communities to rethink water policies and calls for more conservation and recycling of wastewater as is done in Singapore. Countries may also want to consider raising the price for water, as well as searching for ways to make water-intensive sectors more efficient and less polluting, it said.