Future global urban water scarcity and potential solutions
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Half the world’s large cities will confront water-scarcity issues by 2050. While there are solutions, the challenge will be to avoid further environmental or socioeconomic harm.
Currently, nine of the world’s 30 cities with populations greater than 10 million are in locations that experience water scarcity, either seasonally or all the time.
Now, a team led by a researcher from Deakin University in Australia has modelled global urban water scarcity in 2050 under different climate change and population scenarios.
Their findings suggest that, by mid-century, 19 megacities and at least half of all large cities will be facing water scarcity, mainly due to population increases and the associated rise in water demand.
Most of these large cities will be able to address water shortages with solutions such as desalination plants, groundwater exploitation and improved water efficiency, but some approaches such as reservoir construction could damage river ecosystems, the researchers warn.
- Nature Communications 12, 4667 (2021). doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-25026-3
|Beijing Normal University (BNU), China||0.67|
|Shanghai Normal University (SHNU), China||0.14|
|Deakin University, Australia||0.14|
|Arizona State University (ASU), United States of America (USA)||0.05|