World Water Day Report: Water Scarcity Threatens Peace, Urges Global Action


A new report by UNESCO released on World Water Day paints a stark picture of a global water crisis on the verge of becoming a major threat to peace.

The report, titled “The 2024 United Nations World Water Development Report,” reveals that a staggering 2.2 billion people lack access to safe drinking water, while 3.5 billion lack proper sanitation.

This scarcity, according to the report, is leading to rising tensions and conflicts around the world.

“Water underpins prosperity through health, education, food and energy security, employment, sustainable ecosystems,” said Richard Connor, editor-in-chief of the report. “Now, violent conflicts, epidemics, global warming, and other crises both affect and are affected by water.”

However, the report also offers a glimmer of hope through successful examples of international cooperation on water management.

The Framework Agreement on the Sava River Basin, a collaborative effort between Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, and Slovenia, is highlighted as a model for peaceful water sharing.

The report also emphasizes the disproportionate impact of water scarcity on vulnerable populations, particularly women and girls in impoverished regions.

These groups often bear the brunt of water collection duties, exposing them to safety risks and hindering their education and economic opportunities.

“In all cases, it’s the poorest that are the most vulnerable,” said Connor.

The report concludes with a call to action for policymakers and individuals alike. It urges increased investment in water infrastructure, sanitation systems, and improved water management practices.

“We are hoping to raise awareness among decision-makers,” said Connor. “Water is the basis for prosperity, and sharing it fairly is essential for peace.”

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