Water scarcity likely to intensify as populations grow: Ban

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

As populations grow, water scarcity and water pollution are likely to intensify, particularly if unsustainable consumption and production patterns continue unabated.

That, according to  Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon  in a message to a High-level International Conference on Water Cooperation in Dushanbe.

 The Secretary-General said while the Millennium Development Goals campaign has been successful in many areas, 800 million people still lack access to improved water sources.

Many more live without a safe and sustainable water supply, and some 2.5 billion people lack adequate sanitation.

He said nearly 5,000 children under five years of age die every day because of unsafe drinking water, poor sanitation and lack of basic hygiene.

According to Secretary-General Ban, growing pressures on water resources also increases the risk of disputes and conflicts. One third of the world's people live in countries with moderate to high water stress.

He noted that the 2013 International Year of Water Cooperation emphasizes the importance of partnership in addressing water and sanitation challenges.

He concluded that cooperation is essential to integrated and sustainable management and use of freshwater resources at all levels.

The message was delivered by Under Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Wu Hongbo.

Donn Bobb, United Nations

Duration: 1’13″

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