March 20, 2015 6:48 am

U.N. warns world faces 40 per cent water shortfall by 2030

A Peruvian water distribution worker with a pipe fills a tank with drinking water on the dusty hillside of Pachacútec, a desert suburb, on January 21, 2015 in Lima Peru.

A Peruvian water distribution worker with a pipe fills a tank with drinking water on the dusty hillside of Pachacútec, a desert suburb, on January 21, 2015 in Lima Peru.

Jan Sochor/LatinContent/Getty Images
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NEW DELHI – The U.N. is warning that the world could suffer a 40 per cent shortfall in water by 2030 unless countries dramatically change their use of the resource.

Many underground water reserves are already running low, while rainfall patterns are predicted to become more erratic with climate change. As the world’s population grows to an expected 9 billion by 2050, more groundwater will likely be used in farming, industry and for personal consumption.

In a report issued in India on Friday, the U.N. says if current trends don’t change, the world will have only 60 per cent of the water it needs in 2030, and demand will rise 55 per cent by 2050.

The shortfall could cause crops to fail, industries to collapse, ecosystems to break down, and trigger violent conflicts over water rights.

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