By Richard Black
Environment correspondent, BBC News|
Climatic change will increase water stress in many places, the report says The amount of water used to produce food and goods imported by developed countries is worsening water shortages in the developing world, a report says.The report, focusing on the UK, says two-thirds of the water used to make UK imports is used outside its borders.The Engineering the Future alliance of professional engineering bodies says this is unsustainable, given population growth and climate change.It says countries such as the UK must help poorer nations curb water use."We must take account of how our water footprint is impacting on the rest of the world," said Professor Roger Falconer, director of the Hydro-Environmental Research Centre at Cardiff University and a member of the report's steering committee. | If the water crisis becomes critical, it will pose a serious threat to the UK's future development Professor Peter Guthrie|
"If we are to prevent the 'perfect storm', urgent action is necessary."The term perfect storm was used last year by the UK government's chief scientist, Professor John Beddington, to describe future shortages of energy, food and water.Forecasts suggest that when the world's population soars beyond 8bn in 20 years time, the global demand for food and energy will jump by 50%, with the need for fresh water rising by 30%.But developing countries are already using significant proportions of their water to grow food and produce goods for consumption in the West, the report says."The burgeoning demand from developed countries is putting severe pressure on areas that are already short of water," said Professor Peter Guthrie, head of the Centre for Sustainable Development at Cambridge University, who chaired the steering group. | | "If the water crisis becomes critical, it will pose a serious threat to the UK's future development because of the impact it would...