August 7, 1995 in Nation/World

Water Crisis Looming Worldwide, Report Says

Associated Press

The world will spend $600 billion over the next decade to augment water reserves as demand spurred by urbanization and agriculture outstrips available supplies, according to the World Bank.

“We are warning the world that there is a huge problem looming out there,” said Ismail Serageldin, a bank vice president. “Unless current trends are reversed, we will have a worsening water crisis around the planet.”

Water is abundant in many parts of the world, but some 80 countries are experiencing water shortages serious enough to threaten agriculture, said a World Bank report released Sunday. It was prepared for an international symposium in Stockholm starting next Sunday.

With the world’s population expected to expand from today’s 5.6 billion to 8 billion in 2025, demands on water for households, industries and irrigation will grow rapidly.

Meanwhile, the supply increasingly is being contaminated by pollution from industry, domestic waste and farm chemicals, the report said.

© Copyright 1995 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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