A new study warns that about thirty percent of the world's people may not have enough water by the year 2025.
A private American organization called Population Action International did the new study. It says more than three-hundred-thirty-five-million people lack enough water now. The people live in twenty-eight countries. Most of the countries are in Africa or the Middle East.
P-A-I researcher Robert Engelman says by the year 2025, about three-thousand-million people may lack water. At least 18 more countries are expected to have severe water problems. The demand for water keeps increasing. Yet the amount of water on Earth stays the same.
Mr. Engelman says the population in countries that lack water is growing faster than in other parts of the world. He says population growth in these countries will continue to increase.
The report says lack of water in the future may result in several problems. It may increase health problems. Lack of water often means drinking waters not safe. Mr. Engelman says there are problems all over the world because of diseases, such as cholera, which are carried in water. Lack of water may also result in more international conflict. Countries may have to compete for water in the future. Some countries now get sixty percent of their fresh water from other countries. This is true of Egypt, the Netherlands, Cambodia, Syria, Sudan, and Iraq. And the report says lack of water would affect the ability of developing to improve their economies. This is because new industries often need a large amount of water when they are beginning.
The Population Action International study gives several solutions to the water problem. One way, it says, is to find ways to use water for more than one purpose. Another way is to teach people to be careful not to waste water. A third way is to use less water of agriculture.
The report also says long-term solutions to the water problem must include controls on population growth. It says countries cannot provide clean water unless they slow population growth by limiting the number of children people have.