India Likely To Be Severely Affected By Water Scarcity By 2050: UN Report

New Delhi: India is expected to be the most severely affected nation by water scarcity by 2050, a UN report said. The United Nations World Water Development Report 2023 issued on 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 in 2016 to 1.7-2.4 billion people in 2050 with India projected to be the most severely affected, the report said.

The UN report stated that globally, two billion people do not have safe drinking water and 3.6 billion lack access to safely managed sanitation, according to PTI.

“Vampiric overconsumption and overdevelopment, unsustainable water use, pollution and unchecked global warming are draining humanity’s lifeblood, drop by drop,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in the report.

The report said that as water is a cross-cutting issue, partnerships and cooperation are key to integrated approaches to water management spanning across key sectors.

“The water-energy-food nexus is also critical in a transboundary context. One partnership addressing this issue is the transboundary water cooperation arrangement established by the Mahakali Treaty (Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project) between India and Nepal, which aims to achieve water and energy security for both parties. Although the Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project is long delayed, several beneficial impacts have been highlighted in terms of irrigation and flood control, and lessening energy shortages,” it said.

The UN Water Conference is the first major UN meeting on water in nearly 50 years and is considered to be a significant step towards the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of clean water and sanitation for all.

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