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Climate change is a threat to the global water supplies

Water crises is a major risk, as climate change is accompanied with other environmental misbalances

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: Aug 1 2016 3:18PM | Updated Date: Aug 1 2016 3:18PM

Climate change is a threat to the global water supplies

Challenges around water management already are immense. Nearly 2 billion people lack access to safe water and about 2.7 billion which is approximately the 40% of the world's total population, suffer with water shortages.


The 2016 Global Risks report produced for the World Economic Forum identified water crises as the top major risk, with the failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation measures the second.


In Yemen, parts of India and northern China, water tables are falling at more than 1 meter a year, says the report.


Women in developing countries are highly dependent on local natural resources for their livelihood, because of their responsibility to secure water, food and energy for cooking and heating. The effects of climate change, including drought, uncertain rainfall and deforestation, make it harder to secure these resources.


Agriculture and rural development are also bearing the brunt of climate risk. More extreme weather patterns are increasing risk and vulnerability. Climate change already is affecting the Asian monsoon and the El Niño effect, with major implications for agricultural production.


The report also mentioned that floods and droughts are the most economically and socially destructive of all natural disasters, with 95% of people affected living in Asia. Across much of the Sahel, East Africa and Southern Africa, droughts are endemic.


Shrinking glaciers and rising sea levels will also poses new risks for human security. The retreat of glaciers will threaten short-term flooding and long-term declines in water availability across Asia, Latin America and parts of East Africa.