3.6 billion people currently face inadequate access to water – World Meteorological Organization

by teleSUR

On Tuesday, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) stated that 3.6 billion people currently face inadequate access to water at least one month a year.

This figure is expected to rise to over 5 billion by 2050. The WMO warns that more than 100 countries are not on track to have sustainably managed water resources by 2030.

“Almost 75 percent of all disasters were water-related in the last 20 years, with at least 1.6 billion people affected by floods and 1.4 billion by droughts and economic damages of almost US$700 billion,” WMO Secretary Petteri Taalas said, adding that multi-hazard adapted early warning systems are an important preparedness measure to fight water-related disasters.”

“Increased heatwaves, droughts and floods are already exceeding plants’ and animals’ tolerance thresholds… These weather extremes are occurring simultaneously, causing cascading impacts that are increasingly difficult to manage,” said scientists in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.

“They have exposed millions of people to acute food and water insecurity, especially in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, on Small Islands and in the Arctic,” they added.

“WMO is committed to supporting the implementation of the United Nation’s “Early Warning for All” initiative by observing, monitoring and forecasting weather and water-related hazards, such as floods and droughts,” Taalas said.

The WMO report comes ahead of the United Nations Water 2023 Conference, to be held on March 22-24. It aims to accelerate efforts to achieve a more water-secure world.

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