The United Nations reported that about half the world’s population could be affected by severe water shortages in the next 20 years due to a number of increasing global development factors.
In its World Water Development Report, UN researchers said shortages could directly impact 5 billion people by 2040, when the world population will be between 8 to 10 billion.
The study warns that stresses on rivers, lakes, reservoirs, aquifers and other water sources, such as glaciers could lead to shortages — which could then result in conflict, environmental damage and threats to civilization.
Good examples are the current water conflicts an be noted in Northern Africa, but also in the Middle East, where Israel confiscated the Jordan River flow from Syria to fill up the Sea of Galilee, but also ISIS that annexed Raqqa (Euphrates) and Mosul (Tigris) before they were defeated by Syria and Iraq with the help of Iran and Russia.
Industrialization, population growth, climate change and the growth of developing countries are straining the water supply, the research says.
“The global water cycle is intensifying due to climate change, with wetter regions generally becoming wetter and drier regions becoming even drier,”
Global changes like urbanization, deforestation, intensification of agriculture add to these challenges.
Noting the 2014-15 drought in Sao Paolo, Brazil, which was linked to Amazon deforestation, the U.N. research urges planners to consider a wider geographic area when anticipating water supply.
It also says trees and other vegetation help to recycle and distribute water, contrary to the views of many farmers. Especially now with the former military paratrooper and new Brazilian president, Bolsonaro who has promised to seize the lands of Brazil’s indigenous tribes and hand them over to private businessmen for exploitation.
UPI / ABC Flash Point News 2018.