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Over 3.6 billion people are currently facing inadequate access to water in any given month per year.

The World Meteorological Organisation, WMO, made this known in its published State of Global Water Resources 2021 report, adding that the figure is projected to increase to more than five billion by 2050. The report assessed the effects of climate, environmental and societal change on the Earth’s water resources, aiming to support the monitoring and management of global freshwater resources in an era of growing demand and limited supplies.

The report also indicated that due to the influence of climate change and a ‘La Nina’ event (period cooling of ocean surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific), the year 2021 witnessed large areas of the globe recording drier than normal conditions.

However, compared with the 30-year hydrological average, the area with below-average stream flow last year was approximately two times larger than the above-average area.

Between 2001 and 2018, the interagency mechanism United Nations Water reported that 74 percent of all natural disasters were water-related.