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Global demand for water to overtake its supply by 2050

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Global demand for water will outstrip supply if the current population growth trends and present of levels of water consumption continue, a study has predicted.

The researchers used what is called a delayed-feedback mathematical model to analyse historic data to help project future trends.

Per-capita water use has been declining since 1980, largely due to improved efficiency measures and heightened public awareness of the importance of conserving Earth’s limited supply of freshwater. This has helped offset the impacts of recent population growth, the study published in the journal WIREs Water noted.

“But if population growth trends continue, per-capita water use will have to decline even more sharply for there to be enough water to meet demand,” said researcher Anthony Parolari from Duke University.

The world’s population is projected to surge to 9.6 billion by 2050, up from an estimated seven billion today, the study pointed out.

“For every new person who is born, how much more water can we supply? The model suggests we may reach a tipping point where efficiency measures are no longer sufficient and water scarcity either impacts population growth or pushes us to find new water supplies,” Parolari noted.

The researchers said that periods of increased demand for water — often coinciding with population growth or other major demographic and social changes — were followed by periods of rapid innovation of new water technologies that helped end or ease any shortages.

Based on this recurring pattern, the model predicts a similar period of innovation could occur in coming decades.

Water recycling, and finding new and better ways to remove salt from seawater, are among the more likely technological advances that could help alleviate or avoid future water shortages, he said.

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8 Comments on "Global demand for water to overtake its supply by 2050"

  1. Rodster on Tue, 24th Mar 2015 5:02 pm 

    The central planners should have brought desalinization plants online to pickup the shortages. As usual they dropped the ball but don’t worry that money is wisely being spent on destabilizing other countries and blowing them up with unmanned drones.

    Many have commented that water in the 21st century will be the new petroleum. Meanwhile Nestle’s and the upper 1% are buying up water rights as fast as they can. Or there was a story I came across yesterday about a man in Oregon who was given 30 days for collecting rainwater on his property. In Cape Coral, FL the same laws apply.

  2. Apneaman on Tue, 24th Mar 2015 8:32 pm 

    California Snowpack is a Record Low 9% of Normal, No Melt Water for Water Supplies

  3. Go Speed Racer. on Wed, 25th Mar 2015 12:10 am 

    By 2050? Already ran out of water. Only thing keeping the place going is fossil water. It is being pumped out.

  4. Makati1 on Wed, 25th Mar 2015 8:26 am 

    Davy, there is nothing in those articles that does not apply to American rivers and streams. Most wells in US farm country are polluted with nitrogen and other farm chemicals, but the government will not allow those facts to be published. There are few streams in the entire world that are potable. Only a fool drinks from a river anywhere in the world. Even many mountain brooks are tainted and not good to drink thanks to airborne pollutants. So what? Have you had your drinking water tested for ALL pollutants? And our farm is 80 miles from Manila and the river comes out of a mountain chain that has no industry or even corporate farms. All jungle. I could drink it if I had to, but I prefer the spring on the property.

    Keep trying, but you cannot prove that the US is any better than China or even the Ps. In most cases, it is much worse, but you will never admit it. Maybe you are a paid bot of the Ministry of Truth? I do occasionally read one of your ‘flag waving patriotic’ rants, but, not often. Too much obvious brainwashing there to be worth my time. And you don’t even realize it…lol.

    You were raised a 1%er and you will die a 1%er, no matter how much you protest or think otherwise. Same as any religious indoctrination. It is difficult to break the chains your parents put into your mind. Good luck!

  5. Davy on Wed, 25th Mar 2015 8:50 am 

    Makster, quite the contrary the US has a vibrant green sector constantly a thorn in the side of the industrialist. This is part of the reason all the plastic, dirty, water and land destroying manufacturing has moved to China and the Philippines. The governments there care about growth not people.

    You are a hypocritical anti-American agendist that only needs a small dose of what you puk out in comments to get sick on acid reflux of rebuke. My postings were in response to your agendist anti-American comment. Why is it ok for you to reference the US and its problems and not China and the Philippines? Please Makster get a life man. You can’t have your cake and eat it. Either pollution is bad period or it is not bad. If it is not bad then why is it not bad for Asia and bad for the US?

    Asia is killing the world and itself in overconsumption, pollution, and overpopulation. If you are going to throw stones you need to remember you live in the same reality as I do. Your farm is 80 miles within the locust people range of 12MIL desperate people. Your little mountain lair you claim is a Garden of Eden on earth will be swallowed up in any collapse of BAU. Mine is also at risk with two population centers of 2MIL spread across the state one being 120 miles the other 250 miles. I don’t deny this locust effect but you do. Mak, get out of the fog of fantasy and enter reality.

  6. Kenz300 on Wed, 25th Mar 2015 10:18 am 

    And yet 80 million more people will be added to the planet every year needing more water……….

    Endless population growth is not sustainable…. and will only lead to more poverty, suffering and despair.

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