UN weather agency warns of water crisis without urgent reforms

Date: 2021-10-05 09:56:15

A mother and daughter are seen on the second floor of their house in a flooded area in Ban Sai village, Ban Mi district in Lopburi province, Thailand, September 30, 2021. REUTERS/Panumas Sanguanwong

GENEVA, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Global water resource management is “fragmented and inadequate” and countries should urgently adopt reforms ahead of a looming water crisis, the United Nations weather agency said on Tuesday.

Climate change is expected to increase water-related hazards such as droughts and floods while the number of people living with water stress is expected to soar due to growing scarcity and population growth, the report warned.

“We need to wake up to the looming water crisis,” said Petteri Taalas, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization.

‘The State of Climate Services 2021: Water’, a collaboration between the WMO, international organisations, development agencies and scientific institutions, estimates that the number of people with inadequate access to water will top 5 billion by 2050 versus 3.6 billion in 2018.

It calls for more financing and urgent action to improve cooperative water management, naming the need for better flood warning systems in Asia and drought warning systems in Africa.

Despite some recent advances, it found that 107 countries remain off track for a target to sustainably manage their water resources by 2030.

“Some 60% of national meteorological and hydrological services – the national public agencies mandated to provide basic hydrological information and warning services to the government, the public, and the private sector – lack the full capacities needed to provide climate services for water,” the report said.

Reporting by Emma Farge; editing by Jason Neely

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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