Friday, February 26, 2021

Botswana to suffer worst water shortages by 2040

Botswana’s water crisis is expected to escalate and the country is expected to see the biggest water crisis between 2020 and 2040.

Water shortages are likely to become increasingly common as the world faces climate change and an increasing population and Botswana has been listed among countries which will be hardest hit according to a new report by the World Resource Institute.

The report’s authors listed Botswana among 33 countries that would face “extremely high water stress” by 2040 and conclude: “Extremely high water stress creates an environment in which companies, farms and residents are highly dependent on limited amounts of water and vulnerable to the slightest change in supply. Such situations severely threaten national water security and economic growth. They called on governments to “bring forward strong national climate action plans and support a strong international climate agreement”.

The report states that between 2020 and 2040, Botswana, Estonia and Albania are expected to see the biggest increases in water shortages. Such surges are due to place unprecedented levels of pressure on their industrial, domestic and agricultural sectors.

Of the 33 countries which will be hardest hit by the water crisis, 14 are in the Middle East – nine of which had a maximum score of five. These were Bahrain, Kuwait, Palestine, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Lebanon.

These countries, it says, are among the least water-secure in the world. They mainly rely on groundwater withwaters and desalinated seawater – while Saudi Arabia is planning on surviving almost entirely on imported wheat by 2016, due to fears over its water supply.

Others countries most likely to face “severe and continuous water shortages” by 2040 include Spain and Chile.

The report said that, while Chile currently experiences medium water stress, it will have extremely high water stress in 2040. This is due to a reduction in the water supply caused by rising temperatures and shifting rain patterns.

The UN has already warned that, by 2030, half of the world’s population will face water shortages.

Now, the WRI has claimed that many densely populated areas are under threat of serious water stress – potentially leading to thirst, strife and civil unrest.

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