LAHORE: As freshwater scarcity on the planet is worsening with every passing day, over 40 percent of this precious natural commodity's international demand is unlikely to be met as soon as 2030 unless companies, investors and governments step up water management and stewardship efforts, a United Nations report has noted.
Here follow a few more recent reports and excerpts from newsletters of reliable international organizations on the surging dearth of water: On June 21, 2018, "Global Water Intelligence," the internationally-acclaimed leader for primary research information on Earth's water markets, had published a report saying that total worldwide investments into water infrastructure must reach $449 billion each year between 2018 and 2030 if the globe was to meet the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals for water and sanitation.
The "Global Water Intelligence" had predicted that the amount of global private finance used to fund water infrastructure would total more than $35billion over the next 12 years, providing 7.7 per cent of the global investment needed by 2030. This was a notable increase on the $3 billion invested between 2013 and 2015.
This organization, which provides primary research information on international water markets, had added: In fact, the number of big businesses investing in water security reached "record levels" in 2017 as more than $23billion was invested."
In its August 29, 2018 report, the 101-year old eminent American business magazine "Forbes" had maintained: "The global food sector, which uses 70 percent of the world’s freshwater, faces the most immediate risks from the multiple challenges of water scarcity, water pollution and water demand pressures from other sectors. Hotter, more volatile extreme weather caused by climate change is compounding risks for this $5 trillion sector."
In its August 13, 2018 report, the London-based Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) has maintained: "Heat waves and droughts across Europe have affected the production and quality of cereals, lifting prices of milling wheat to four-year highs. Summer months typically see higher grain prices, but climate events seem responsible for this year's above-average spikes."
The HSBC, one of the largest banking and financial services organizations in the world with a worldwide network comprising around 7,500 offices in over 80 countries, had asserted: "Harvests in Germany, Europe's second largest wheat producer and seventh biggest globally, are forecast to be the lowest in 15 years – down 25 per cent on last year. An unusual combination of heavy rains and heat waves this year has lowered grain quality in Russia, the third biggest producer globally, and Ukraine, the ninth.
Agriculture is both perpetrator and victim of climate change, but of the cereals we've analyzed, wheat is the commodity most vulnerable to changes in climate."
This bank, having over 85,000 employees, had further noted: "There have been previous spikes. Severe droughts and heat waves in Russia and Ukraine in 2010-11 pushed wheat prices 39 per cent above the previous five-year average. Those countries restricted exports, helping produce a knock-on effect on the prices of soybean, maize and barley, and on broader food indices."