Presenting the 2023 World Water Development Report, the head of the UN agency said that ‘water is our common future, and it is essential to act together to share it equitably and manage it sustainably.’
Presented at the opening of the 1st United Nations Water Conference in more than 45 years, the document states that 26 percent of the world’s population lacks access to safe drinking water and 46 percent do not have basic sanitation facilities.
The text paints a dark picture of the huge gap that needs to be filled to meet the UN goals to ensure access to clean water and sanitation for all people by 2030.
According to the report, two billion people in the world lack safe drinking water and 3.5 billion people lack access to safely managed sanitation.
In addition, the global urban population facing water shortages will increase twofold, from 930 million in 2016 to 1.7-2.4 billion in 2050.
The increasing incidence of extreme and prolonged droughts also affects ecosystems, with serious consequences for animal and plant species, the document states.