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Copyright © 2001 The International Herald Tribune | www.iht.com
World Water Crisis Is Feared Reuters Reuters Thursday, March 22, 2001
LONDON Two out of three people in the world will face water shortages by 2025, according to a report by the British-based development agency Tearfund to be issued Thursday.
"Running on Empty," made public to coincide with World Water Day, said the world's water supply could not keep pace with demands being made on it.
"Consumption rose sixfold between 1990 and 1995, more than twice the rate of population growth," the report said.
While many prosperous areas of the world could cope with dwindling water supplies because of efficient water management, poorer countries were at risk of suffering "on a massive scale," Tearfund said. "The magnitude of the crisis is such that Tearfund says the world will increasingly witness a new phenomenon - 'water refugees' - millions of people being forced to leave their homes in search of clean water."
Tearfund highlighted areas of the world where the water supply situation was already alarming: Delhi, in India, was predicted to run out of groundwater by 2015; Lake Chad in Africa has shrunk 95 percent in the past 38 years despite providing for 20 million people in six countries, and China.
The report called for investment in water supply sanitation and resources and a redoubling in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5 percent by 2012.
The World Health Organization said Wednesday that more than 1 billion people had no access to clean water and that 3.4 million people died every year from diseases that could be easily remedied by better supplies and sanitation.
Copyright © 2001 The International Herald Tribune
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