By 2050, the number of people exposed to water stress can double if efforts are not made to keep global warming below 2C above pre-industrial levels and if future population growth remains high, according to a study.
Thus it indicates that an additional 380 million people can face water stress by 2050 in comparison to the number in 2010. Even if the world is able to meet the Paris Agreement’s temperature target and limit global warming to below 2C and the population growth remains low, the number of people that will suffer from water stress can rise by 50% by 2050 in comparison to 2010.
The people suffering from water stress will be more in the Middle East, North Africa, and South and Central Asia. These are the areas that already face challenges as a consequence of water stress, as per the lead author Carbon Brief.
This new study published in Earth’s Future looks at how climate change can result in water stress across international borders.
The author said, “Water stress” is a measurement of the ratio between water use and availability. It is specifically a measure of “demand-driven” water scarcity.”
Adding, “The focus here is on water stress – calculated as a water use-to-availability ratio – because…it captures well a simple intuition about how water use and availability relate: when water is abundant, water use generally has less impact than when water is in short supply.”