Climate Change is Being Watered Down
Scientists have warned that climate change and a huge increase in the global population as well as the growth of developing countries could mean that there will be a significant shortage of water in the near future. Researchers, Policy makers, economists and scientists are due to deliver a lecture in Canada on the world's water that will highlight the issue of water in agriculture and in energy production and the current trend of increasing droughts and floods in different regions.
It is expected that within less than one generation, water demand will exceed supply levels by up to 40% in many developing countries. It's also expected that more extreme weather will be an ongoing trend and many regions will experience extreme flooding, while other areas will experience prolonged droughts. Floods that have occurred only once in a century could start to occur within every 20 years.
"At unpredictable times, too much water will arrive in some places and too little in others. Until now, all we've ever done in urban developments is to drain everything into rivers and lakes" said chair of UN Water, Zafar Adeel, which coordinates water-related efforts of 28 United Nations organizations and agencies.
"As developing countries gain wealth, their citizens' demands for food and energy, which both require a lot of water to produce, will skyrocket. We have to be prepared for the security challenges that will arise from this," added Adeel.
The chairman of UN Water admitted that a need for clean water was paramount and compared the idea of clean water to the massive success that cell phone companies have made in India. "That says there is something in their marketing approach that the cell phone companies have got right. We just need to duplicate that (business acumen) to bring clean water and sanitation to all," said Adeel.
Hans Schreier of the University of British Columbia is expected to speak at the conference and will present research on the need to erect defenses against floods in dangerous flood prone regions. The conference, which will take place in Ottawa, will see over 300 scientists, economists and policymakers discuss ideas and best practices for optimizing the use of clean water.
The conference will also touch on the idea of limiting the amount of water that is used in making products and in converting energy in many industries. The impact climate change is having on the world and on local environments in relation to water will also be discussed.
Nicholas Parker, chairman of the Cleantech Group, said: "What people don't often realize is how much water there is in everything we make and buy, from t-shirts to wine." The organizers of the conference hope that new ideas and plans could come out of the conference.
photo credit: mbdortmund