An alarming new study shows the water crisis is far bigger than previously thought.
A shocking new report has found that 4 billion people are facing severe water scarcity, making up two-thirds of the entire world’s population.
It shows that water shortages have become a major worldwide problem, one that is far worse than had been previously thought, according to a Guardian report.
The research also indicates that 500 million people live in places where water is consumed at a rate of double that of the amount that comes from rain, meaning that when aquifers run out, they face major problems.
And it’s not just a problem in countries like India and China. Even people living in the western United States and London are very vulnerable, and things are likely to get worse as the population grows and meat consumption grows as well.
Some countries are facing a significant water crisis. Yemen may run out of water within years, and Pakistan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Iran are also gravely at risk.
The Murray-Darling basin in Australia and the American Midwest also face significant risks.
The study was published in the journal Science Advances. It used data from 1996 through 2005. The study found that severe water scarcity, when water is used more than twice the amount being replenished, affects 4 billion people at least one month per year. Previous studies had indicated that water scarcity had impacted between 1.7 and 3.1 billion, so this is a very significant increase.
In addition, an estimated 1.8 billion people face severe water scarcity at least half of the year.
The major use of water isn’t drinking, but rather farming, and as communities grow and require more food, it puts a greater strain on the water supply. Rising incomes also result in more people eating meat, which further exacerbates the problem.