The United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO) warned in a new report that a global water crisis is imminent. WMO stated that as floods and droughts have exacerbated the global water crisis, the number and duration of droughts in Africa have increased by 29% in the past 20 years. The warning comes at a time when climate change has led to an increase in floods, droughts, and other water-related disasters, while the number of people experiencing “water shortages” continues to increase due to population growth and reduced water availability. In 2018, about 3.6 billion people in the world could not get enough water for one month each year, and it is estimated that by 2050, it will exceed 5 billion. Rising temperatures lead to changes in global and regional precipitation, leading to changes in rainfall patterns and agricultural seasons, and have a major impact on food security and human health, and well-being.
According to the report, the number and duration of droughts have also increased by 29% in the past two decades, and most deaths have occurred in Africa, again indicating the need for stronger early warning systems. “Water scarcity is still a major cause of concern for many countries, especially African countries. “More than 2 billion people live in water-scarce countries without access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities,” Taras pointed out. “We need to be alert to the imminent water crisis.” According to the “State of Climate Services 2021: Water Report” coordinated by WMO, the frequency of water-related disasters has increased since 2000. The report includes input from more than 20 international organizations, development agencies, and scientific institutions . Compared with the previous two decades, flood-related disasters have increased by 134%. Most deaths and economic losses occur in Asia, where the early warning system needs to be strengthened.
Taras recalled that in the past year, extreme rainfall across the African continent caused large-scale floods in Japan, China, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan and India. Millions of people have been displaced and hundreds of lives have been lost. “But not only in developing countries, the floods caused major damage,” he said. The report calls for improving water management, integrating water and climate policies, and expanding investment because current measures are scattered and inadequate. Recommendations include investing in integrated resource water management to better manage water stress, especially in small island developing States (SIDS) and the world’s least developed countries (LDC). In particular, the authorities of the least developed countries are urged to invest in drought and flood warning systems. Countries are also encouraged to fill gaps in data collection that are critical to climate services and early warning systems and join the Water and Climate Alliance supported by WMO.
With information from: https://pmnewsnigeria.com/2021/10/06/global-water-crisis-looms-drought-increases-by-29-in-africa/