Tuesday, 17 March 2009
by Geoffrey Lean from The Independent UK 15 March 2009 By 2030, more than half the world's population will live in high-risk areas. Humanity is facing "water bankruptcy" as a result of a crisis even greater than the financial meltdown now destabilising the global economy, two authoritative new reports show. They add that it is already beginning to take effect, and there will be no way of bailing the earth out of water scarcity. The two reports - one by the world's foremost international economic forum and the other by 24 United Nations agencies - presage the opening tomorrow of the most important conference on the looming crisis for three years. The World Water Forum, which will be attended by 20,000 people in Istanbul, will hear stark warnings of how half the world's population will be affected by water shortages in just 20 years' time, with millions dying and increasing conflicts over dwindling resources.