More than five billion people are expected to face a lack of access to clean drinking water at least once a month every year by 2050 as a result of extremes such as floods and drought, the UN said on Tuesday.
ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 29th Nov, 2022 ) :More than five billion people are expected to face a lack of access to clean drinking water at least once a month every year by 2050, as as a result of extreme phenomena such as floods and drought, the UN said on Tuesday.
Climate change is lowering river levels and melting glaciers as global temperatures are more than 1.1°C higher than in pre-industrial times, according to a report by the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
Large areas around the world were drier than usual last year as rainfall patterns were influenced by climate change, the report said.
The report, titled The State of Global Water Resources 2021, is the first comprehensive review of water resources by the WMO, the UAE reported.
It will be published annually starting this year because of calls for more accurate data at a time of growing demand and limited supply, the WMO said.
“Currently, 3.6 billion people experience inadequate access to water for at least one month of the year, and this is expected to increase to over five billion by 2050,” the report said.
From 2001 to 2018, 74% of all natural disasters were water-related, according to UN studies.
The report pointed out that inconsistent measurements and a lack of field data made it difficult to understand some of the effects climate change was having on water systems.
At Cop27, the recent UN climate change conference held in Egypt, governments were urged to further integrate water into adaptation efforts.
WMO Secretary Prof. Petteri Taalas said the effects of climate change were usually felt through water in the form of more intense and frequent droughts, floods, irregular seasonal rainfall and melting glaciers.
“With cascading effects on economies, ecosystems and all aspects of our daily lives, there is insufficient understanding of changes in the distribution, quantity and quality of freshwater resources,” he said.
The report said about 1.9 billion people lived in areas where drinking water was provided by glaciers and melting snow, but those glaciers are melting faster and faster.
The report says governments need to step up their efforts to introduce early warning systems for floods and droughts to help reduce the effects of extreme water.