|GENEVA (AP) - A severe water shortage
could have "catastrophic consequences'' in some developing countries unless global
solutions are found soon, the U.N. weather agency said Friday.
a billion people could be living in countries with moderate to severe water shortages
caused by climate change, contamination and population growth by the year 2025, according
to the World Meteorological Organization. That could double again by 2050.
Although developing countries make up most of those with severe water
shortages, potential problem areas in the future include the west coast of the United
States, the agency added.
|More than 150 experts from around the
world will hold a U.N.-sponsored meeting in Geneva next week to discuss ways of
safeguarding water supplies.
"Unless adequate responses are
found, the water situation will be drastic in many parts of the world, with catastrophic
consequences for the poorer communities in developing countries,'' the WMO said.
"Almost everything you do has the consumption of water behind it,'' said
Arthur Askew, WMO water resources director. As an example, he said producing 1 pound of
beef in the United States takes about 2,640 gallons of water.