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The global water resources problem cannot be ignored

The global water resources problem cannot be ignored

On the occasion of the opening of the United Nations Water Conference in 2023, UNESCO and the UN Water Mechanism jointly released the latest edition of the “UN World Water Development Report” on March 21. The report points out that 2 to 3 billion people worldwide are currently facing water scarcity. Without strengthening international cooperation in this field, water scarcity is expected to worsen in the coming decades, especially in urban areas.

The report highlights that over the past 40 years, global water consumption has been increasing at an annual rate of about 1%. Driven by population growth, socio-economic development, and changes in consumption patterns, it is expected that global water consumption will continue to grow at a similar rate until 2050. This growth is particularly concentrated in low- and middle-income countries, especially emerging economies. In fact, over 40% of the world’s population faces some level of water scarcity. The conference places emphasis on developing countries severely affected by water scarcity, recognizing it as a major issue faced by these nations.

Today, 2 billion people globally, approximately 26% of the world’s population, lack access to safe drinking water, and 3.6 billion people lack properly managed sanitation facilities. Additionally, 2 to 3 billion people face water scarcity for at least one month every year, posing serious risks to their livelihoods, particularly in terms of food security and electricity supply.

To address the global water resource issues, comprehensive and transboundary measures are needed. Firstly, there should be a strengthening of water resource management and monitoring systems to ensure the rational use and distribution of water resources. Secondly, improving water resource efficiency and reducing pollution levels can be achieved through investment and promoting technological innovation. At the same time, the international community needs to collaborate to promote global water resource protection and sustainable management.

In the face of global water resource challenges, everyone bears the responsibility to protect water resources. Through water conservation efforts and advocating environmental awareness, each individual can contribute to alleviating the pressure on water resources. Only through global cooperation and concerted efforts can we ensure the effective protection of water resources and create a sustainable living environment for future generations. Therefore, the global water resource issue cannot be ignored and requires the collective attention and action of society as a whole.

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