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UN agency warns global water crisis

Geneva

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a specialized organization of the United Nations (UN), warned on Tuesday that climate change will increase the global danger of water-related risks like floods and droughts, and the number of people affected via water scarcity is additionally expected to soar.

In its new report entitled “The State of Climate Services 2021: Water,” the WMO says that 3.6 billion people globally had insufficient access to water at least one month per year in 2018, and through 2050 this number is expected to exceed 5 billion.

“The situation is worsening via the fact that only 0.5 percent of the water on Earth is useable and accessible freshwater,” the report said.

The WMO’s data show that water-related dangers have improved in frequency over the past 20 years. Since 2000, flood-related disasters have risen by 134 percent compared with the two previous decades, while during the same duration the number and length of droughts also increased by 29 percent.

Most drought-related deaths happened in Africa, indicating a need for improved end-to-end warning structures for drought in that region. Most of the flood-related deaths and financial losses were recorded in Asia, whilst Africa used to be hit the most by using drought-related deaths.

“Increasing temperatures are ensuing in the world and regional precipitation changes, leading to shifts in rainfall patterns and agricultural seasons, with a predominant influence on meals safety and human fitness and well-being,” stated WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

Last year saw a continuation of excessive water-related events, which displaced millions of people and killed heaps across Asia, whilst in Africa, greater than two billion people nonetheless stay in water-stressed nations and go through lack of getting entry to protected ingesting water and sanitation, in accordance to the WMO chief.

Underlining the necessary role of water assets administration in lowering water-related disasters, the WMO recommends that countries, especially small island creating states and least developed countries, enlarge funding in built-in water assets administration and in drought and flood early warning systems.

The WMO additionally urges countries to fill the potential gap in accumulating facts for simple hydrological variables, which underpin climate offerings and early warning systems, and national stage stakeholders to co-develop and operationalize local weather offerings with data customers to better aid adaptation in the water sector.

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