Recent Reports on Water

Both national and international bodies have issued important documents pertaining to water scarcity and its implications. The World Bank has published High and Dry: Climate Change, Water, and the Economy. This report details how the lack of potable water will exacerbate already bad conditions in areas where water scarcity already exists as well as impacting areas that presently do not have to contend with this issue. If left unabated, climate change will affect the supply of water to the world’s cities by 2050, in some cases  by two-thirds. These conditions will give rise to mass migrations, “water wars”, and otherarmed conflicts that will in the long run reduce the economies of many of the world’s countries by up to 6%. It offers some hope of amelioration in its Confronting Drought in Africa’s Drylands: Opportunities for Enhancing Resilience .

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued Municipal freshwater scarcity: Using technology to improve distribution system efficiency and tap nontraditional water sources and an E-Supplement containing the survey of 1300 municipal water systems upon which the report is based. As stated in the highlights page: “Of all municipal services, providing a safe and adequate supply of water is perhaps the most essential. Reports about lead-contaminated drinking water in Flint, Michigan and ongoing drought in several regions of the United States highlight some of the challenges water utilities are facing. In times of shortage, conflicts over limited freshwater resources—including for irrigation, power production, and municipal water use—increase. Further, freshwater shortages are expected to continue into the future.”

The Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has produced Climate Change, Water Scarcity, and Adaptation in the U.S. Fieldcrop Sector that states:”Projected changes in climate are likely to alter growing conditions across important agricultural regions in the United States.”(Summary 1) Reductions in crop yields are expected by 2020.

A search of PMC (PubMed Central) shows over 700 articles on water scarcity; over 350 articles are in DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals); and more than 100 articles can be found courtesy of HighWire Press.

 

 

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