A quarter of the world’s population now lives in an environment of “extreme water shortages” due to a combined mix of population growth, dietary transformation and climate change, and the breadth and deepening of the water crisis continues to grow. And a new study by the World Resources Institute found that the cost of solving the global water crisis is far lower than people think.
The cost of water security for all in society is expected to be just over 1% of global GDP by 2030, averaging about 29 cents per person per day (equivalent to 2 yuan). And the economic benefits far outweigh the costs, with an average return of $6.8 0 for every $1 invested in water and water treatment facilities.
The ultimate ideal is “sustainable water management” so that water security around the world can be guaranteed. To achieve this ideal state, different countries and regions have different costs and problems to be solved.
In the United States, for example, the area in need of investment is water supply, and the cost of achieving “sustainable water management” is expected to be only 0.78 per cent of GDP.
In addition to the United States, 74 countries will pay less than 2% of GDP; 70 countries will need to invest more in water supply and sewage treatment, which will account for 2 to 8 percent of gdp; and 17 countries have poor water management and infrastructure and poor economic conditions. The challenge of achieving “sustainable water management” is therefore greater, with the final expenditure likely to exceed 8% of GDP.
In solving the global water crisis, what is lacking is not programmes, but money. The world should not take solving the water crisis as a burden, but as an opportunity. If “sustainable water management” can be achieved globally, billions of people will benefit from it, and our ecosystem will be greatly improved and our return on investment will be substantial.
If the water crisis is allowed to develop, by 2050, the resulting economic losses will account for more than 2% of the GDP of many countries, and some countries’ economic losses will even reach 10% of GDP.