August 23rd, 2011 by WWF
A WWF report has shown that the likelihood of water shortages in global megacities (defined by UN Habitat as cities with more than 10 million inhabitants) is set to escalate, with 70% of the world’s population projected to be living in urban areas by 2050.
The report illustrates the already serious implications of poor water management in megacities around the world, and focuses on five case studies:
Martin Geiger, Head of Freshwater, WWF Germany said: “It’s vital for cities to protect and restore ecosystems that are important water sources. As well as reducing unnecessary consumption, successful water and wastewater management is also essential to support agriculture. Cities must begin conducting vulnerability tests and ensuring government and stakeholder involvement to assess risk and prepare for the increased populations we are expecting in the future”.
The report also highlights the importance of calculating water footprints, which measure the total volume of water used to produce goods and services and the effects of pollution from waste water. Water footprints can incorporate a more holistic assessment of the demand placed on water resources by humans, to calculate availability of water and help supply more water to megacities and reduce impact on freshwater environments.