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World Water Day: 26 percent of the world’s population does not have clean drinking water, UN warns

United Nations: A new report released on Tuesday on the eve of the first major UN conference on water in 45 years said 26 per cent of the world’s population lack access to safe drinking water, while 46 per cent lack access to basic sanitation. Is. The ‘United Nations World Water Development Report 2023’ also outlines the steps needed to achieve the UN goals of ensuring everyone has access to clean drinking water and sanitation by 2030. The report’s editor-in-chief, Richard Connor, told a news conference that the estimated annual cost of meeting the targets is somewhere between $600 billion and $1 trillion.

Equally important, however, Connor said, is partnering with investors, financiers, governments and climate change communities to ensure that money is invested in ways that sustain the environment and that two billion people have access to potable water. people who do not have access to safe drinking water, as well as ensure access to sanitation to 36 lakh people. According to the report, global water use has been growing at a rate of about one percent per year over the past 40 years and is expected to increase at the same rate until 2050 due to “population growth, socio-economic development and changing consumption patterns”. ‘

Connor said the real growth in demand is being seen in developing countries and emerging economies, where there are signs of rapid industrial growth and population growth. He said that ‘demand is increasing the most’ in urban areas. Conor said that globally 70 percent of the water used in agriculture is to make irrigation of crops more efficient. In some countries ‘drip’ irrigation is now used, which saves water. In ‘drip’ irrigation, water is dripped drop by drop to the roots. He said that this would make more water available to the cities.

According to the report, due to climate change, ‘rainwater scarcity will increase in areas where it is currently available in abundance, such as Central Africa, East Asia and parts of South America, and its availability will worsen in those areas. Where water is already scarce, such as West Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Conor said that as far as water pollution is concerned, the biggest source of it is untreated waste water.

Globally, 80 per cent of wastewater is released into the environment without any treatment, he said. At the same time, in many developing countries this figure is around 99 percent. The list of speakers for the UN conference on waters includes more than 100 ministers from 171 countries and representatives of more than 20 organizations. Five ‘interactive talks’ and several other events will be organized at the conference.

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