Saturday, 24 March 2018

Water, Climate Change, Pollution - UN World Water Development Report 2018

Source: The United Nations World Water Development Report 2018, NATURE-BASED SOLUTIONS for WATER, Executive Summary, March 2018

"(...) At the same time, the global water cycle is intensifying due to climate change, with wetter regions generally becoming wetter and drier regions becoming even drier. At present, an estimated 3.6 billion people (nearly half the global population) live in areas that are potentially water-scarce at least one month per year, and this population could increase to some 4.8–5.7 billion by 2050.

Since the 1990s, water pollution has worsened in almost all rivers in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The deterioration of water quality is expected to further escalate over the next decades and this will increase threats to human health, the environment and sustainable development. Globally, the most prevalent water quality challenge is nutrient loading, which, depending on the region, is often associated with pathogen loading. Hundreds of chemicals are also impacting on water quality. The greatest increases in exposure to pollutants are expected to occur in low- and lowermiddle income countries, primarily because of higher population and economic growth and the lack of wastewater management systems.

The trends in water availability and quality are accompanied by projected changes in flood and drought risks. The number of people at risk from floods is projected to rise from 1.2 billion today to around 1.6 billion in 2050 (nearly 20% of the world’s population). The population currently affected by land degradation/desertification and drought is estimated at 1.8 billion people, making this the most significant category of ‘natural disaster’ based on mortality and socio-economic impact relative to gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. (...)"

Executive Summary:

2018 UN World Water Development Report, Nature-based Solutions for Water: