Friday, February 12, 2016

More than 4 billion people suffer from sever water scarcity: New study

Sat Feb 13, 2016 2:42AM
A new research shows that about two-thirds of the world population are facing sever freshwater scarcity.
A new research shows that about two-thirds of the world population are facing sever freshwater scarcity.
Around two-thirds of the world population suffer from sever freshwater scarcity, a situation far more dangerous than previously thought, a new study says.  

In an article published in the journal Science Advances on Friday, a team of two scientists from the University of Twente in Netherlands warned that over four billion people across the globe live under conditions of sever water shortage for at least one month of the year, adding that half of these people live in India and China.

The study also shows that some 500 million people live in regions where water consumption is twice as much as the amount received through precipitation during the entire year, leaving them highly vulnerable as natural underground reservoirs increasingly run down.

Researchers further warned that these water problems tend to worsen as the world population soars and water consumption, particularly intensified through meat-eating, is increasing.

“Taking a shorter shower is not the answer” to the global problem, said professor Arjen Hoekstra, one of the authors of the research, since just one to four percent of a person’s water footprint is in the home, while 25 percent is via meat consumption. “It takes over 15,000 liters of water to make one kilogram of beef, with almost all of that used to irrigate the crops fed to the cattle,” he explained.
According to Hoekstra, many other countries, including Pakistan, Iran, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia, are living on borrowed time, as their natural underground reservoirs of freshwater are increasingly depleting. The research further revealed that water problem in Yemen is very acute as the impoverished country of the Arabian Peninsula could run out of water within a few years.

Authors suggested that “putting caps to water consumption by river basin, increasing water-use efficiencies, and better sharing of the limited freshwater resources will be key in reducing the threat posed by water scarcity on biodiversity and human welfare”.