Troubled Waters

source: United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Addis Ababa; Global Environment Outlook 2000 (GEO), UNEP, Earthscan, London, 1999; digout, delphine, based on a sketch by philippe rekacewicz; unep/grid-arendal.

Scientists predict that freshwater, a precious commodity already in short supply in some African nations, will become increasingly scarce in the coming years if global warming (along with population growth and urbanization) continues as expected. This graph looks at the impact of a drier climate on water supply, comparing its availability in 1990 to that projected for 2025. According to UNEP, 18 countries and more than 600 million people could experience water stress within the next 20 years.

Issue 25

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