Global water resources may soon meet only 60% of the world’s water demands, the United Nations warned in a dire new report.
The World Water Development Report, issued ahead of World Water Day on Sunday, says demand for water around the world will increase by 55% over the next 15 years. With current supplies, that means only 60% of the world’s water needs will be met in 2030.
The reason for the shortfall include climate change, which causes irregular rainfall and dwindling underwater reserves. The results of the shortage could be devastating to agriculture, ecosystems and economies. With less water, health could also be compromised.
New policies that focus on water conservation, and more optimal treatment of wastewater, could alleviate some of the shortfall.
“Unless the balance between demand and finite supplies is restored, the world will face an increasingly severe global water deficit,” the report says.
- Mickey Guyton Is TIME's 2022 Breakthrough Artist of the Year
- The 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2022
- Column: What Elon Musk Gets Wrong About Free Speech
- The Forgotten Story of One of the First U.S. Soldiers Killed Overseas After Pearl Harbor
- Why You're More Likely to Get Sick in the Winter, According to New Research
- Column: What the Protests Tell Us About China's Future
- 18 Last-Minute Gifts for Everyone on Your List
- Despite World Cup Heartbreak, the Future Looks Bright for Men's Soccer in the U.S.