In the future, will people have enough water to live? | Science News

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More than 2 billion people lack safe drinking water. That number will only grow.

As populations grow and climate change shrinks freshwater stores, water scarcity takes center stage

By
7:00am, August 16, 2018
child drinking

THIRSTY WORLD  A child drinks water at a well in South Sudan, a country in which only half the population has ready access to clean drinking water. 

Freshwater is crucial for drinking, washing, growing food, producing energy and just about every other aspect of modern life. Yet more than 2 billion of Earth’s 7.6 billion inhabitants lack clean drinking water at home, available on demand.

A major United Nations report, released in June, shows that the world is not on track to meet a U.N. goal: to bring safe water and sanitation to everyone by 2030. And by 2050, half the world’s population may no longer have safe water.

Will people have enough water to live?

Two main factors are pushing the planet toward a thirstier future: population growth and climate change. For the first, the question is how to balance more people against the finite amount of water available.

Top 10 countries with lowest access to clean water near home

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