"Climate, Food Pressures Require Rethink On Water: U.N."

"The world's water supply is being strained by climate change and the growing food, energy and sanitary needs of a fast-growing population, according to a United Nations study that calls for a radical rethink of policies to manage competing claims.

"Freshwater is not being used sustainably," UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said in a statement. "Accurate information remains disparate, and management is fragmented ... the future is increasingly uncertain and risks are set to deepen."

It says that demand from agriculture, which already sucks up around 70 percent of freshwater used globally, is likely to rise by at least 19 percent by 2050 as the world's population swells an estimated 2 billion people to 9 billion.

Farmers will need to grow 70 percent more food by that time as rising living standards mean individuals demand more food, and meat in particular."

Gus Trompiz reports for Reuters March 12, 2012.

SEE ALSO:

"Water Scarcity Threatens Much of the World, UN Report" (ENS)

6th World Water Forum: Marseilles 2012

"World Water Forum Will Pander To Corporate Self-Interest, Say Critics" (Guardian)

"Water Pollution From Farming Is Worsening, Costing Billions" (Bloomberg)

Source: Reuters, 03/13/2012