World's water in jeopardy.


Group: World's water in jeopardy.


SAN FRANCISCO — A California think tank said the world's freshwater resources are more threatened now than ever, facing several challenges such as quality issues, climate change and wetland destruction.

The report by the Oakland-based Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security encourages governments and nongovernmental organizations around the world to examine policy and

management of the resources, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

It was completed at the request of the United Nations Environment Program and is meant to provide an overview of issues facing the world's water supply, said AP. It looks at water-related diseases, destruction

and degradation of freshwater ecosystems, pollution and climate change.

A major problem identified by the report is the lack of clean drinking water and adequate sanitation services in some points around the world, the news service said. Peter Gleick, director of the institute and the report's lead author, said there are 5 million to 10 million deaths a year from water-related diseases, including cholera, malaria, dengue fever and dysentery.

The news service said the report calls for international cooperation on water problems, including sharing technological innovations that help people clean and use water more efficiently, and making water quality and availability national priorities.

The expected impacts of climate change include increased precipitation and evaporation and changes in regional rainfall, snowfall and snowmelt patterns, as well as storm severity, AP reported.

The disappearance of wetlands also can have an adverse affect on world freshwater supplies, Gleick said in the article.

The report will be taken to the Earth Summit, scheduled to take place in Johannesburg, South Africa, later this year.