Saturday, March 10, 2012

Water shortage a global threat without urgent reform

Terra Daily via AFP: Urgent reforms to raise efficiency in the way water is used around the world are needed to avert serious shortages in the next decades, and markets in water can help, the OECD said on Wednesday. In about 40 years' time more than four out of 10 people in the world may be living in river areas in the grip of severe shortage, it warned.

"Efficient use of water is essential, and pricing it properly can discourage waste," the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said. "Economic instruments such as water markets can help to achieve this in a flexible way."

The OECD, a forum and source of advice on policy in many fields for governments in advanced countries, was commenting on the release of a study it published called Meeting the Water Reform Challenge ahead of a world water forum in Marseille, southern France, on Tuesday.

The organisation warned that reform was needed urgently "if the world is to head off serious deterioration in the quality and quantity of water available."...

Photo by Bernd in Japan, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license

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