By 2050, more than 5 billion people in the world could have problems accessing water. This is highlighted by the latest report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which warns of a lack of resources at the global level to face the climate emergency that the planet is going through.
In 2018 some 3.6 billion people had problems accessing water at least one month a year. By 2050, this figure is expected to rise to more than 5,000 millionThe UN warned this Tuesday taking the data from the latest report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
The State of Climate Services 2021 report recently presented by WMO, comes just a few weeks before COP26 – the United Nations Climate Change Conference to be held in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12.
In the study, the agency highlights the need for urgent action to improve cooperative water management, calling on political leaders to address integrated water and climate policies. Also to increase investment in this necessary and precious asset.
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For a long time, it has been observed how water-related hazardsLike floods and droughts, they are increasing due to climate change. I know expects the number of people suffering from water stress to increase, —When the demand for water is higher than the quantity available— exacerbated by the increase in the population and the decrease of this resource.
“We need to wake up to the looming water crisis,” said the Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization, Petteri Taalas, in a press release.
Otherwise, there is a risk that the world is heading towards a global water crisis that could lead to consequences displaced climatic and wars.
The number of extreme events related to water skyrockets
Just staring at 2021 record floods, torrential rains, snowmelt or heat waves they have starred in summer alerts around the world.
Since 2000, disaster-related disasters floods have increased by 134% compared to the previous 2 decades. Regarding the droughts the number and duration have increased by 29% during this same period.
“Rising temperatures are causing changes in global and regional rainfall, leading to changes in rainfall patterns and agricultural seasons, with a major impact on food security and human health and well-being, ”emphasizes Taalas.
As extracted from the WMO report, only last year did the events water-related extremes they generated millions of displacements and up to hundreds of deaths.
While certain regions, especially in Asia, see their cities flooded due to torrential rains, other areas of the world see their water deposits increasingly depleted.
“Lack of water continues to be a major cause of concern for many nations, especially in Africa,” Taalas reveals, which accounts for the majority of drought-related deaths.
And the water reserves decrease
According to the report, globally more than 2 billion people live in countries with water stress and they suffer from the lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation.
And it is that although around 70.8% of the planet is water, only 2.5% of this is sweet. Stored in glaciers and ice caps, groundwater, lakes, soils, or the atmosphere itself, this means that all of it is not consumable either. In fact, only ground or surface water is fit for consumption, and This represents 0.5% of the total water available on the planet.
You reserve all of them that are going to less.
In the last 20 years, terrestrial water storage, the sum of all the water on the earth’s surface and in the subsoil, —including soil moisture, snow, and ice— has been reduced at a rate of 1 centimeter per year.
The biggest losses, always according to the report, occur in Antarctica and Greenland.
However, they emphasize that many densely populated places “are experiencing significant water losses in areas that traditionally provide supply“.
However, as it is extracted from the document, the countries are far behind with respect to the Sustainable Development Goal No. 6 of the UN for guarantee the availability and sustainable management of this precious asset.
Therefore, Taalas urges the countries participating in COP26 to improve their action plans. “We cannot wait decades to start acting.”
This article was published in Business Insider Spain by Cristina Fernández Esteban.