Experts on meteorology and hydrology warned last year that half the world’s population could face a shortage of clean water by 2080 because of climate change. They said global warming was disrupting water flow patterns and increasing the severity of floods, droughts and storms — all of which reduce the availability of drinking water. As many as 2 billion people may not have sufficient access to clean water by 2050. That figure is expected to rise to 3.2 billion by 2080 — nearly tripling the number who now do without it.
We know that as the population of the world increases expontentially, industrial, agricultural, and individual water demands escalate. The demand for water world-wide doubles every 21 years, and even more in some regions. We also know that there has been a six-fold increase in water use for only a two-fold increase in population size. This reflects greater water usage associated with rising standards of living, as well as potentially unsustainable levels of irrigated agriculture. There are six billion people on this planet who need water to live, and the United Nations predict that this number will increase to nine billion by 2050. Water supplies simply cannot keep up with these rapidly increasing numbers.
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