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A third of the world population faces water scarcity today

Stockholm (August 21, 2006) -- One in three people is enduring one form or another of water scarcity, according to new findings released by the Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture at World Water Week in Stockholm. These alarming findings totally overrun predictions that this situation would come to pass in 2025.

"Worrisome predictions in 2000 had forecast that one third of the world population would be affected by water scarcity by 2025. Our findings from the just-concluded research show the situation to be even worse," says Frank Rijsberman, Director General of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI). "Already in 2005, more than a third of the world population is affected by water scarcity. We will have to change business as usual in order to deal with growing scarcity water crisis we see in some countries like India, China, and the Colorado River basin of USA and Mexico."

The Comprehensive Assessment, carried out by 700 experts from around the world over the last five years, indicates that one third of the world's population is currently living in places where water is either over-used - leading to falling groundwater levels and drying rivers - or can not be accessed due to the absence of the appropriate infrastructure.

The Assessment, the first of its kind critically examining policies and practices of water use and development in the agricultural sector over the last 50 years, was co-sponsored by the CGIAR, FAO, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and the Convention on Biological Diversity in a bid to find solutions to the challenge of balancing the water-food-environment needs.

It was spearheaded by IWMI, one of 15 agricultural research centres supported by the CGIAR that are striving to increase food production, increase rural incomes, and safeguard the environment.

Rijsberman explained, "Our results show that one quarter of the world's population live in river basins wh
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Contact: Jeff Haskins
jhaskins@burnesscommunications.com
301-652-1558
Burness Communications
21-Aug-2006


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