New York, March 23: Climate change is one of many forces contributing to an unfolding water crisis. In the coming years, the demand for water will increase as food production grows, populations grow and move, industries develop and consumption increases. Hence One in four of the world’s children will be living in areas with extremely limited water resources by 2040 as a result of climate change, the UNICEF has warned.
Within two decades, 600 million children will be in regions enduring extreme water stress, with a great deal of competition for the available supply. The poorest and most disadvantaged will suffer most, according to research published by the children’s agency, Unicef, to mark World Water Day on Wednesday.
The world is on the brink of a crisis, as the combination of water stress and climate change is creating a deadly outlook for children. As water stress increases, the effects of climate change threaten to destroy, contaminate or dry up the water that remains, said UNICEF.
As industrialisation and demographic shifts increase consumption, areas of south Asia and the Middle East will be particularly affected, according to one of the report’s authors, Nicholas Rees. “Where demand is extremely high then water stress will increase. It will go up in areas of rapid urbanisation, and we are already seeing that throughout sub-Saharan Africa and Asia,” he said.
Also, Report said that the effects of climate change intensify the multiple risks contributing to an unfolding water crisis by reducing the quantity and quality of water, contaminating water reserves, and disrupting water and sanitation systems. Rising temperatures, greater frequency and severity of droughts and floods, melting snow and ice, and rising sea levels, all threaten the water supplies that children rely on and can undermine safe sanitation and hygiene practices.
Meanwhile, across the world, the UN’s report says that 36 countries are facing extremely high levels of water stress, which occurs when demand far exceeds the renewable supply available. Warmer temperatures, rising sea levels, increased floods, droughts and melting ice affect the quality and availability of water, as do sanitation systems.