UN: 25% of population will lack clean water by 2050
According to the secretary general of the United Nations (UN), Antonio Guterres, global demand for fresh water is predicted to rise by more than 40% to 2050 – and at least a quarter of the world’s population will live in countries with a “chronic or recurrent” lack of clean water.
Guterres told the UN security council on Monday that: "Strains on water access are already rising in all regions", noting that three-quarters of the 193 UN member states share rivers or lake basins with their neighbours. Water, peace and security are inextricably linked. Without effective management of our water resources, we risk intensified disputes between communities and sectors and increased tensions among nations."
According to Bolivian President Evo Morales, holder, as Bolivian President, of the security council presidency for the month of June, as many as 37 conflicts over water have taken place since 1947. He said:
“Our planet, the human family and life in all its myriad forms on Earth are in the throes of a water crisis that will only get worse over the coming decades. If current patterns of consumption continue unabated, two-thirds of the world’s population will be facing water shortages as a daily reality by 2025.”
Morales also added that over 800 million people lack access to safe drinking water today, and more than 2.5 billion don’t have basic sanitation. He claimed that the limited availability of fresh water should necessitate that the resource is shared, and doesn’t become a “pretext for domestic or international conflict.”
As the world continues to face this crisis – exacerbated by growing populations and climate change – the technology being pioneered by companies like Xylem Inc., and Halma Plc., will become crucial to our survival. These technologies, like desalinization, already play an important part in providing water to those in need. Malta, for example, has no access to fresh water, and relies heavily on desalinization to provide its source. Vietnam is currently planning an ambitious endeavour to recycle and reuse all its water.
Ultimately, this is an incredibly big business opportunity for these companies – but it is also a necessary provision for human life. As a result, while investors could certainly benefit from the roll out of such technology, in another sense, so will everyone on the planet.
Dominion holds Xylem Inc., Halma Plc., and other water technology companies in its Global Trends Managed Fund.
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