Water demand will ‘outstrip supply by 40% within 20 years’ due to climate change and population growth

April 18, 2011 • Climate Change & Mitigation, Water, Daily Email Recap

Thanks to Joe Bish for this article.  See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1361374/Water-demand-outstrip-supply-40-20-years-climate-change-population-growth.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

Water Demand Will Outstrip Supply by 40% within 20 Years

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 8:03 AM on 1st March 2011
Water demand in many countries will exceed supply by 40 per cent within 20 years due to the combined threat of climate change and population growth, scientists have warned.

A new way of thinking about water is needed as looming shortages threaten communities, agriculture and industry, experts said.

In the next two decades, a third of humanity will have only half the water required to meet basic needs, said researchers.

Agriculture, which soaks up 71 per cent of water supplies, is also likely to suffer, affecting food production.

Filling the global water gap by supply measures alone would cost an estimated £124billion per year, a meeting in Canada was told.

But this could be cut to between £31billion and £37billion by an approach which both raised supply and lowered demand, according to leading water economist Dr Margaret Catley-Carlson.

Around 300 scientists, policy makers, and economists attended the international meeting in Ottawa hosted by the Canadian Water Network (CWN) in the run-up to U.S. World Water Day on March 22.

Dr Catley-Carlson, a director of the CWN, which co-ordinates water research and policy in Canada, and vice-chair of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Water Security, said: ‘We need to brace for what could easily be humanity’s greatest short-term challenges.’

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