More than 5 billion people will have problems accessing water in 2050, according to a UN report

The United Nations warned on Tuesday that more than five billion people might face water scarcity by 2050, asking countries to grasp the initiative at the COP26 summit.

According to a new research from the UN’s World Meteorological Organization, 3.6 billion people have insufficient access to water for at least one month each year in 2018. WMO chief Petteri Taalas remarked, “We need to wake up to the approaching water problem.”

The research, titled “The State of Climate Services 2021: Water,” comes only weeks before COP26, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, which will be held in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) stated that the amount of water retained on land — on the surface, in the subsoil, in snow and ice — has decreased at a rate of one millimeter per year during the last 20 years.

The most substantial water losses occur in Antarctica and Greenland, but many densely populated lower latitude places are experiencing large water losses in areas that typically provide water supplies, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Only 0.5 percent of the water on Earth is usable and available fresh water, according to the EPA, thus there are enormous implications for water security.

“Rising temperatures are causing global and regional precipitation changes, including variations in rainfall patterns and agricultural seasons, with significant implications for food security, human health, and well-being,” Taalas added. Meanwhile, over the last 20 years, water-related disasters have become more common.

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