03/22/2007, 00.00
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Two-thirds of world to face water crisis by 2025

UN warns on World Water Day that pollution and mismanagement of water resources are among the main factors causing draughts. North Africa, the Middle East and western Asia are the most affected regions.

Geneva (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Pollution, global warming and chronic wastage are among the main factors that will make fresh water an even more precious commodity, this according to the United Nations which today marked the 22nd World Water Day. The theme of today's event was ‘water scarcity’, a problem so serious since draught already affects 43 countries, but a problem that could be solved since there is enough water for anyone so long as it is managed properly.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warns that by 2025 1.8 billion people will live in countries or regions with maximum water stress. Overall, two-thirds of the world's population will live in conditions of water scarcity.

Global warming is bound to accentuate the scarcity even further, say experts, with North Africa, the Middle East and western Asia the worst hit.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), individuals experience water stress with less than 50 litres of water per day per person.

Currently, 40 per cent of the world’s population (2.5 billion people) live in impossible hygienic conditions because of lack of water. They are among the poorest people on earth, half of them in China and India. Some 11 million die each year from diseases tied to the lack of clean water.

In Africa, daily water consumption ranges from 12 to 50 litres per day. In Europe it rises to 170-250; in the United States it reaches 700 litres.

Only 16 people out of a 100 can turn on a water tap to sip drinking water that has no polluting substances or pathogens. The other 84 must look for it, often trekking long distances, at poor and low-quality sources.

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