The role that played in the twentieth century oil, in the twenty-first century will go to the water.
Kirsty Jenkinson of the World Resources Institute (USA) and her colleagues calculated that in the last century, water use increased more than two times faster than the population.
According to the forecasts of the same experts, 2007-2025's water consumption will increase by 50% in developing countries and 18% — in the rich, because people in rural areas of developing countries are increasingly moving to the city.
Will there be enough water for everyone when we become nine billion? "Water on the Earth very much — says Rob Rennet, executive director of the Water Research Foundation (USA). — The problem is that 97.5% — is salt water, and two-thirds of fresh frozen. "
Today, more than a billion people lack access to safe drinking water and two billion more than living in inadequate sanitary conditions, so that each year from diseases related to water, killing 5 million people, and mostly children. Only 8% of fresh water on the planet consumed. About 70% is used for irrigation and 22% — for industrial purposes.
Decrease in precipitation and water pollution will result in some of the river will lose its current value. According to the Web service "Aqueduct" World Resources Institute, the most affected river basins of the following: Murray — Darling (Australia), Colorado (USA), Orange (South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho), the Yangtze — Yellow River (China).
Shortages of water are already affecting the economy. For example, a clothing manufacturer Gap cut its profit forecast by 22% due to drought in the cotton fields of Texas. Shares gas supplier Toreador Resources fell 20% after France banned shale gas due to concerns regarding its impact on water quality. Food giant Kraft Foods, Sara Lee and Nestle are going to increase prices in order to compensate for the increased cost of raw materials due to droughts, floods, and other factors.
Only one — more efficient use of water resources. For example, one study found that agriculture in the major river basins in Africa, Asia and Latin America could increase productivity by half, if learned properly use existing water.