UN Meteorological Agency warns of water crisis without urgent reforms



The UN Meteorological Agency said on Tuesday that global water resource management was “fragmented and inadequate” and that countries should make reforms to increase funding and cooperation in emergency warning systems in the face of the crisis.

Climate change is expected to increase water-related risks such as drought and flooding, while rising scarcity and population growth are expected to increase the number of people living with water stress.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “We need to be vigilant about water shortages.

‘The State of Climate Services 2021: Water’, in collaboration with WMO, international organizations, development agencies and scientific organizations, estimates that the number of people without access to adequate water will increase from 5 billion by 2050 to 3.6 billion in 2018.

More financial and urgent action is needed to improve cooperative water management in the name of the need for better flood warning systems in Asia and drought warning systems in Africa.

Despite some recent improvements, 107 countries have not set a goal of sustainably managing their water resources by 2030.

“60% of the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services – national public companies are mandated to provide basic hydraulic information and warning services to the public, public and private sector – do not have the full capabilities required to provide climate services for water,” the report said.

Thalas told a news conference that these “big gaps” were the worst in Central Asia, Africa and the island states. In some cases, the information gaps could prove deadly, meaning that Zimbabwe opened its dams during Hurricane Idai in 2019, which increased Mozambique’s downstream flooding.

“This is an example of better coordination between Zimbabwe and Mozambique avoiding casualties,” he said. In all, more than 300,000 people have been killed by floods and more than 700,000 by drought and their impact on food production, the WMO said.


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