The State of Climate Services 2021: Water report

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released its new report titled “The State of Climate Services 2021: Water” on October 5, 2021.

Key findings of report

  • According to WHO, climate change increases the risk of water-related hazards such as floods and droughts.
  • Climate change will also increase the number of people affected by water scarcity.
  • As per report, in 2018, 3.6 billion people worldwide had inadequate access to water at least one month per year.
  • This number is expected to exceed five billion by 2050.
  • Report also notes that, this situation is worsening as only 0.5 per cent of water on the Earth is useable and available freshwater.
  • Water-related hazards have increased in past 20 years.
  • Flood-related disasters have increased by 134 per cent since 2000, as compared to past two decades. However, number & duration of droughts have increased by 29 per cent during the same period.
  • In Africa, about two billion people live in water-stressed countries. They suffer a lack of access for safe drinking water and sanitation.

Drought-related Deaths

Report also highlights that, most of the drought-related deaths occurred in Africa. Thus, more robust end-to-end warning systems is needed for drought in African region. Most of the flood-related deaths & economic losses were witnessed in Asia.

Impact of Temperature

According to report, increasing temperatures are resulting in global & regional precipitation changes. It will also lead to shifts in rainfall patterns as well as agricultural seasons.

Recommendations of WMO

WMO recommends that countries should increase investment in integrated water resources management and drought & flood early warning systems. WMO also urged countries to fill the gap in capacity of collecting data for basic hydrological variables.

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