LONDON — A third of the world’s population is suffering from a shortage of water, raising the prospect of ‘water crises’ in countries such as China, India and the US. Scientists had forecast in 2000 that one in three would face water shortages by 2025, but water experts have been shocked to find that this threshold has already been crossed. Frank Rijsberman, director-general of the International Water Management Institute, said: ‘We will have to change business as usual in order to deal with the growing water scarcity crisis.’ About a quarter of the world’s population lives in areas of ‘physical water shortage’, where natural forces, over-use and poor agricultural practices have led to falling groundwater levels and rivers drying up. But a further 1bn people face ‘economic water shortages’, because lack the necessary infrastructure to take water from rivers and aquifers. The findings come from a report compiled by 700 experts over five years, the Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture from the International Water Management Institute, presented on Monday at World Water Week in Stockholm, an international meeting of water experts. David Molden, co-ordinator of the report, said: ‘If we continue to manage […]

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