World Resources Institute’s Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas says that a quarter of the world’s population is experiencing “extremely high-water stress” every year. Furthermore, an additional 1 billion people are anticipated to be impacted by the water crisis by 2050.
The institute analyses its numbers every four years. “Extremely high-water crisis” means countries are utilizing practically all of the water they have. At least 80% of their renewable supply.
Report At A Glance
According to the study, the water crisis is highly severe in 25 nations. It consists of 25% of the world’s population. Particularly, Bahrain, Cyprus, Kuwait, Lebanon, and Oman are the five worst affected. These locations could be at risk of running out of water even during a brief drought.
“Water is arguably our most important resource on the planet and yet we’re not managing it in a way that reflects that,” said Samantha Kuzma, Aqueduct data lead from WRI’s water program and a report author.
Furthermore, people are at risk of experiencing water stress occasionally. The WRI estimates that by 2050, 60% population would be under extremely severe water stress.
Even if temperature increases are kept to between 1.3C and 2.4C by 2100, an additional billion people will likely have to deal with significant water stress by that time.
Increased Water Demand
Some of the reasons like growing populations, the needs of businesses like agriculture, unsustainable water usage policies, and a lack of infrastructure investment contribute to increased water demand. These factors further fuel the water crisis.
By the middle of the century, the whole population of the Middle East and North Africa would be under extremely high-water stress. This will have an impact on drinking water supplies, harm industry, and possibly ignite political unrest.
According to the analysis, sub-Saharan Africa will experience the greatest change in water demand, which is expected to rise by 163% by the year 2050. With these increasing numbers, a water crisis is inevitable.
Lakes Drying Up
According to Fangfang Yao, a surface hydrologist at the University of Virginia and the study’s lead author, human consumption and climate change were responsible for 56% of the loss in natural lakes, with warming accounting for “the larger share of that.”
The study discovered significant water loss even in humid places. Contrary to the prevalent belief of climate experts that wet areas will become wetter. Similarly, world’s desert parts will become drier as a result of climate change.
They discovered that 53% of lakes showed a drop from 1992 to 2020 due to unsustainable human usage, changes in rainfall and runoff, sedimentation, and rising temperatures.
A dwindling lake basin directly affects over 2 billion people, and recent shortages have been felt in many areas.