Thursday, February 5, 2009

Majority of world population face water shortages unless action taken, warns UN official

UN News Centre: Two-thirds of the world’s population will face a lack of water in less than 20 years, if current trends in climate change, population growth, rural to urban migration and consumption continue, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro warned today.

Speaking at a high-level symposium on water security at UN Headquarters, Ms. Migiro stressed that “if present trends continue, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with water scarcity by 2025, and two-thirds of the world population could be subject to water stress.” “The lack of safe water and sanitation is inextricably linked with poverty and malnutrition, particularly among the world’s poor,” she said at the two-day meeting organized by the World Water Organization (WWO).

“It limits girls’ school attendance and exacerbates maternal mortality. Yet today about 900 million people still rely on unimproved drinking-water supplies, and 2.5 billion people remain without improved sanitation facilities.” Unless urgent action is taken the conflict between water supply and demand is set to get worse, Ms. Migiro told the symposium’s participants, comprising of experts from the UN, Member States, as well as corporate, medical, scientific, academic and non-governmental organization (NGO) communities….

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