The growing population, rapid urbanisation, and no futuristic policy can lead to serious consequences for India. India is expected to be the most severely affected as the global urban population facing water scarcity is projected to increase from 933 million in 2016 to 1.7-2.4 billion people in 2050, a flagship UN report said on Tuesday.
The 'United Nations World Water Development Report 2023: partnerships and cooperation for water', issued Tuesday ahead of the UN 2023 Water Conference, said that around 80% of people living under water stress lived in Asia; in particular, northeast China, as well as India and Pakistan.
"The global urban population facing water scarcity is projected to increase from 933 million (one-third of the global urban population) in 2016 to 1.7-2.4 billion people (one-third to nearly half of the global urban population) in 2050, with India projected to be the most severely affected," the report said, citing data.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in the report that "Water is the lifeblood of humanity. It is vital for survival itself and supports the health, resilience, development and prosperity of people and planet alike." Guterres voiced concern that humanity is blindly travelling a dangerous path. "Vampiric overconsumption and overdevelopment, unsustainable water use, pollution and unchecked global warming are draining humanity's lifeblood, drop by drop." He said the report "reminds us, protecting and preserving this precious resource for future generations depends on partnerships. The smart management and conservation of the world's water resources mean bringing together governments, businesses, scientists, civil society and communities - including indigenous communities - to design and deliver concrete solutions." In particular, the 2023 United Nations Water Conference is a critical moment for collective progress - the first major UN meeting on the water in nearly half a century, and a significant step towards Sustainable Development Goal 6: clean water and sanitation for all, Guterres said.
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