Author: Zabarenko, Deborah
Number of pages: 2
Like oil in the 20th century, water could well be the essential commodity on which the 21st century will turn.
Water use has been growing at more than twice the rate of population increase in the last century, said Kirsty Jenkinson of the World Resources Institute, a Washington think tank.
Water use is predicted to increase by 50 percent between 2007 and 2025 in developing countries and 18 percent in developed ones, with much of the increased use in the poorest countries with more and more people moving from rural areas to cities, Jenkinson said in a telephone interview.
Factor in the expected impacts of climate change this century -- more severe floods, droughts and shifts from past precipitation patterns -- that are likely to hit the poorest people first and worst "and we have a significant challenge on our hands," Jenkinson said.