Analysis Foresees Doubling of Urban Water Scarcity by 2050

Climate change worsens, driving water shortages towards a global crisis. (Photo via

With the exacerbation of climate change impacts, the issue of water scarcity has transitioned from concern to a pressing global crisis.

Boston, MA (WS News Publisher) – In regions like Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, water scarcity jeopardizes people’s livelihoods and development. Over 2 billion people worldwide inhabit areas confronting water scarcity, a trend anticipated to surge dramatically in the foreseeable future, as per United Nations statistics.

According to recent research data, by 2050, nearly 3 billion people will lack access to clean drinking water, primarily due to nitrogen pollution and over-extraction of water from rivers. Small river basins in China, Central Europe, North America, and Africa are anticipated to become severely affected regions. Nitrogen pollution from agricultural, industrial, and urban emissions enters river, lake, and groundwater systems, deteriorating water quality and disrupting aquatic ecosystems, exacerbating water scarcity.

Affected by nitrogen pollution, the number of small river basins facing water scarcity worldwide is expected to double within 25 years. Researchers predict that by 2050, over 3,000 sub-basins will confront risks of water quantity and quality shortages, impacting an additional 40 million square kilometers of basin area and 3 billion people who may face the challenge of inadequate access to clean water. China is poised to be one of the most severely affected in these regions.

Furthermore, population growth exacerbates the demand for water resources, particularly in developing countries, where water needs for drinking, agriculture, and industry escalate sharply. This surge in population intensifies pressure on water resources, further exacerbating scarcity. Annually, 2 to 3 billion people face at least one month of water scarcity, posing serious risks to livelihoods, particularly regarding food security and power supply. By 2050, the global urban population facing water scarcity will be projected to double from 930 million in 2016 to between 1.7 and 2.4 billion.

Addressing global water scarcity is a complex challenge that necessitates concerted global efforts. In response to this challenge, the international community calls for proactive action. Sustainable solutions are deemed crucial, encompassing improvements in water management, enhanced water efficiency, and the development of recycled water technologies. Simultaneously, governments, businesses, and citizens must collaborate to protect and manage precious water resources.

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