The world faces a severe water shortage
The world faces a grave humanitarian crisis by the scarcity of water, which kills about two million children a year, according to the latest United Nations Program for Development (UNDP), released in November. The terrible situation is similar to that of deaths caused by AIDS worldwide, 2.5 million people, according to the UN. Already in the World Social Forum in January 2006 in Mali noted that 34,000 people die daily for lack of drinking water.
On Earth, only two percent of water is drinking, of that amount, 87 percent is in the polar caps as ice and rest, a significant portion is in the form of large pockets under the surface. Global water resources are limited and poorly distributed. His management is deficient, the limited resources and the environmental changes make that 1,100 million people in the world lack safe drinking water and 2,400 million have no basic sanitation, according to the UN report on the Development of the World Water , March 2006.
In the last century, water consumption to increase by six, while the population tripled. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), about 3,000 million people will live in 2025 in countries in conflict due to lack of water. Africa has only nine percent of the world’s freshwater resources. UNESCO estimates that 230 million Africans suffer from water shortages in 2025.
In Latin America, the great rivers Parana, Paraguay, Pilcomayo and part of the Amazon suffer from pollution, so that access to water is uneven across regions. South America, for example, has 26 percent water and has a 6 percent of the population. In North America are the biggest records of coverage, water supply and sanitation in the world. In the U.S., the second largest producer of hydroelectricity in the world, most of the population has clean water and sanitation and 49 percent of freshwater is used for agriculture.
Five percent of the global population lives in the Middle East and North Africa, but have less than one percent of available water on the planet. In the Asia / Pacific, 86 percent of water consumed goes to agriculture, eight percent to the industry and only six percent of people use. China, India and Indonesia have half of all water in the region, while a third of the population living in this part of the world, the 58 percent of the population does not have basic sanitation.
In Europe consume 300 liters of water a day per capita, two times less than in the U.S. and Japan, but twenty times more than in sub-Saharan Africa. The problem lies in the distribution system, and so that 40 percent of water is lost. In Europe, 18 percent of the population lives in region of water-scarce countries, including Spain, Cyprus, Malta and Italy.
Moreover, the climate change will exacerbate the current water shortage in many regions of Southeast Asia and Africa and will increase the spread of diseases like malaria, dengue, yellow fever and cholera, especially in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The regions best suited to address the effects of climate change will Europe and North America, which, however, also note the negative effects, and southern Europe will not escape the Iberian Peninsula, which is one of the most vulnerable areas of their environment and higher risk.
Terra News – Reuters