Monday, February 06, 2017

World Bank: Climate Change Increases Water Risks, Hampers Growth

High and Dry: Climate Change, Water, and the Economy

A new World Bank reports finds that water scarcity, exacerbated by climate change, could hinder economic growth, spur migration, and spark conflict. However, most countries can neutralize the adverse impacts of water scarcity by taking action to allocate and use water resources more efficiently.

Key Findings

  • Water scarcity, exacerbated by climate change, could cost some regions up to 6% of their GDP, spur migration, and spark conflict. 
  • The combined effects of growing populations, rising incomes, and expanding cities will see demand for water rising exponentially, while supply becomes more erratic and uncertain. 
  • Unless action is taken soon, water will become scarce in regions where it is currently abundant — such as Central Africa and East Asia — and scarcity will greatly worsen in regions where water is already in short supply — such as the Middle East and the Sahel in Africa. These regions could see their growth rates decline by as much as 6% of GDP by 2050 due to water-related impacts on agriculture, health, and incomes.
(The full report is here. An accompanying video is here.)


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