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Coalition of Water, climate leaders advocate urgent action for future generations

Water and Climate Coalition leaders have issued a call for more urgent and united action “to protect our people and future generations” in the face of alarming new scientific evidence from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of growing global threats to water availability and from water-related hazards.

Roughly half of the world’s population currently experience severe water scarcity for at least some part of the year and this is expected to worsen as climate change alters precipitation patterns with consequences for the entire water cycle. The impacts of hydrological changes from the retreat of glaciers and permafrost thaw are approaching the point of no-return.

Only 0.5 per cent of water on earth is useable and available as freshwater. But in the past 20 years, terrestrial water storage – all water on the land surface and in the subsurface, including soil moisture, snow and ice – has dropped at a rate higher than total human water consumption per year. This has huge ramifications for future water security, given population increase and environmental degradation.

“We lead the way in rethinking how our societies and economies best resist climate change. Improving how we use water is a pathway to develop food security, protect health and livelihoods, promote the just transition to clean energy, build water and climate smart cities, protect the environment, build resilient economies, help the world achieve the SDGs, and meet global climate commitments,” said the coalition leaders in a call for action.

Recognising that “We cannot manage what we don’t measure,” the Water and Climate Coalition Leaders also pledged to set up a Global Water Information System to fill the gaps in reliable data and actionable information.

“We need data to understand how climate change is affecting our water systems; understand where, how much, and in what quality water is and will be available. We need information to know where and how our actions can best support our access to the precious resource and protect us from water hazards and disasters. Data is also key for smart decision-making,” said the Call for Action.

“Yet there are major gaps; data is scattered, inconsistent, and incomplete.”

Source: guardian

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