Water Aid has made an urgent call on world leaders to fund the provision of climate-resilient clean water to stem the reversal by climate change of its near-40 years of progress in bringing clean water to millions worldwide.
Amid the 2019 session of the United Nations General Assembly the charity warned that by 2050, the number of people lacking water at least once a month will reach five billion, winding back its work since 1981 in bringing water security to more than 27 million people.
Water Aid asserted that access to water and sanitation services was “the first line of defence against the impacts of climate change,” adding: “No other consequence of climate change, except for extreme heat, will be as widespread and immediate as the effect it has on water.”
The charity highlighted that funding water and sanitation services for vulnerable communities was among the most effective cheap investments in bringing resilience to climate change. Yet, it claimed, climate adaptation accounts for just 6% of global climate finance with a fraction of that going to household water and sanitation, and on water security.
It cites the Global Commission on Adaptation that found that $200bn-$300bn invested in water resources before 2030 would reap $1.4tn in benefits globally.