About 3.6 billion people live in areas with potential water shortages at least one month per year, and their number may increase to 5.7 billion by 2050, warned UNESCO. The 2018 edition of the UN World Water Development Report says that global demand for water rises by around 1% each year and will “continue to grow significantly” in the next 20 years.
The environmentally friendly solutions play an important role both in improving the quality of water and water supply and in mitigating the effects of natural disasters.
“We need new solutions for managing water resources to respond the emerging water security challenges posed by population growth and climate change”, said the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay. “If we do nothing, by around 2050, about five billion people will live in areas with insufficient access to water. This report offers environmentally-friendly solutions for better water management. This is a serious task that we all need to implement together responsibly to prevent water-related conflicts”, added she.
In the report, the environmentally friendly solutions are defined as “inspired and supported by nature”. They either use or mimic processes that occur in nature to help improve water management.
“Against the backdrop of accelerated consumption, the ever-worsening environmental quality and the multiple effects of climate change, we obviously need new ways to manage competitive demand for our valuable freshwater resources”, said Gilbert Houngbo, the President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Chair of UN-Water.