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Water stress doubles by 2050

Water stress doubles by 2050 3 June 2020

World population facing water stress could ‘double’ by 2050 as climate warms (via Carbon Brief)

By Daisy Dunne

The number of people exposed to water stress could double by 2050 if efforts are not made to keep global warming below 2C above pre–industrial levels and future population growth is high, a study finds.

This means an additional 380 million people could face water stress by mid–century, when compared to the number in 2010.

Even if the world does meet the Paris Agreement‘s temperature target of limiting warming to below 2C and population growth is low, the number of people exposed to water stress could still rise by 50% by 2050, when compared to 2010, the research says.

Increases will be concentrated in the Middle East, North Africa and south and central Asia – regions that already face significant challenges as a result of water stress, the lead author tells Carbon Brief.

Running dry

Around two–thirds of the global population – four billion people – face water scarcity for at least one month a year in today’s world.

Water availability is affected by physical processes – such as the amount of rainfall, rate of evaporation and the geology of the land surface and human management, through dams, groundwater extraction and reservoirs. 

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