Saturday, March 22, 2014

World faces 'water-energy' crisis: United Nations

The Times of India: Surging populations and economies in the developing world will cause a double crunch in demand for water and energy in the coming decades, the United Nations said on Friday. In a report published on the eve of World Water Day, it said the cravings for clean water and electricity were intertwined and could badly strain Earth's limited resources.

"Demand for freshwater and energy will continue to increase over the coming decades to meet the needs of growing populations and economies, changing lifestyles and evolving consumption patterns, greatly amplifying existing pressures on limited natural resources and on ecosystems," the report said.

Already, 768 million people do not have access to a safe, reliable source of water, 2.5 billion do not have decent sanitation and more than 1.3 billion do not have mains electricity. "Lack of access to water, sanitation and sustainable energy is an aggravating factor for poverty," Michel Jarraud, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization, told a conference at the United Nations University in Tokyo. "We need to adopt more integrated policies and innovative strategies to tackle the issues."

About 20% of the world's aquifers today are depleted, according to the UN report. Agriculture accounts for more than two-thirds of water use. The World Water Development Report, the fifth in the series by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), is an overview collated from data from scientific studies and investigations by agencies....

Temple pond on the left side of the Thousand Pillar Temple. Shot by Achyuta T. Madabushi, Wikimedia Commons,  under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license 

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