Experts Warn of Urban Water Scarcity Doubling by 2050

Global climate change exacerbates water shortages, creating a global crisis. (Photo via

The intensifying global water scarcity dilemma has elicited broad attention from the international community. With the worsening effects of climate change, the problem of water scarcity has shifted from concern to a critical global crisis.

Boston, MA (ADH News) – In regions like Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, the scarcity of water poses a threat to people’s livelihoods and development. United Nations data highlights that more than 2 billion people worldwide live in areas experiencing water scarcity, a predicament poised to intensify significantly in the coming decades.

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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