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06 Jun 2008 04:06:01

Lord Stern: Water is not a renewable resource

Lord Stern: Water is not a renewable resource
The pressing need to assess global water shortages has been highlighted this week at the Goldman Sachs Top Five Risks conference.

Lord Stern, part of a panel at the event, claimed that water is "not a renewable resource", adding that lack of H2O could pose a greater threat to humanity than the food and energy crises.

According to the Telegraph, Lord Stern pointed to over-mining, inadequate price regulation and farming as potential causes of water scarcity.

He added that the world is in danger of running out of water as underground aquifiers dry up and melting glaciers interfere with the flow of usable water.

"The glaciers on the Himalayas are retreating and they are the sponge that holds the water back in the rainy season," he said.

"We're facing the risk of extreme run-off, with water running straight into the Bay of Bengal and taking a lot of topsoil with it."

The United Nations Environment Programme has highlighted the problem of water scarcity. It claims that by 2025, 40 countries in the Middle East and Africa will face "water stress".

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