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Experts Warn the Global Water Crisis Is Getting Worse

Experts Warn the Global Water Crisis Is Getting Worse

As climate conditions worsen around the globe, experts predict that by 2100, two in three people won’t have a dependable source of water.

Researchers at Utrecht University, located in the Netherlands, note that roughly 55 percent of the global population currently lives in regions that lack clean water for at least one month per year. Their projections find that this number will rise to 66 percent by the year 2100.

What’s driving these life-threatening changes? According to the study published in Nature Climate Change, socioeconomic and current climate trends will continue to make life harder for people, especially in the Southern Hemisphere.

“Climate change and socioeconomic developments have multi-faceted impacts on the availability and quality of, and demands for, water resources in the future,” wrote lead author Dr. Edward Jones. “Changes in these three aspects are crucial for evaluating future water scarcity.”

The team of researchers predict that global water scarcity will continue to increase throughout the 21st century. However, these changes won’t occur evenly throughout the world. In Western Europe and North America, water scarcity will likely make things harder for people a few months per year. In developing countries, however, the problem will likely affect more people over a longer period each year, according to the team’s projections.

“Increases in future exposure are largest in the Global South,” Jones explained. “These are typically driven by a combination of rapid population and economic growth, climate change and deteriorating water quality.”

Clean water is essential to better quality of life. Research has show that a variety of diseases are linked to drinking dirty water, including Hepatitis A, intestinal parasites, chemical poisoning, as well as numerous waterborne and diarrheal diseases.

“The lack of clean water presents a systemic risk to both humans and ecosystems, which is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore,” Jones said. “Our work highlights that, alongside substantially reducing our water demands, we must place an equally strong focus on eliminating water pollution in order to turn the tide on the global water crisis.”

Today, businesses and organizations are doing what they can to address the ongoing crisis. Charity:Water founder Scott Harrison explained why Christians in particular should be advocating for this cause.

“My theology around clean water is very simple,” he said. “I believe that God does not want any women or children to die from drinking muddy water and that when a well is put in a village and a woman stops walking five hours a day, when a kid starts drinking clean water, God smiles, and that is bringing His Kingdom a little closer.”

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