February 14, 2008
Scientists warn of looming water supply crisis (Jan 31)
Ban Ki-moon warns that water shortages are increasingly driving conflicts (6 February 2008)
Many of today's conflicts around the world are being fuelled or exacerbated by water shortages and climate change is only making the situation worse, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the General Assembly today.Briefing an informal Assembly session on the crises in Kenya, Darfur and Chad, as well as his recent trip to Europe and Africa, Mr. Ban noted that he told the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last month that "increasingly, fights are erupting over such basic human needs as water or arable land."I find this trend deeply worrying, especially because such shortages are only projected to grow in coming years," he said, adding that water also underpins many of the world's key development challenges - food, the environment, health and economic well-being."Water shortages are at the core of many of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), one of which is to reduce by half the number of people without safe access to water by 2015. When you consider the health and development challenges facing the poorest of the world's population - diseases like malaria or TB [tuberculosis], rising food prices, environmental degradation - the common denominator often seems to be water."