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Inadequate Water Supply May Lead to Global Economic Decline

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A report by World Bank says that insufficient water supply could lead to a decline in the gross domestic product in at least four parts of the world.

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Insufficient water supply could lead to a decline in the gross domestic product (GDP) in at least four parts of the world if governments do not make water management changes, according to a World Bank report released on Tuesday.

"If countries do not take action to better manage water resources, our analysis shows that some regions with large populations could be living with long periods of negative economic growth," World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said in a release about the report.

The report noted the regions of concern include Central Africa and East Asia, which do not have water scarcity problems at present, and the Middle East and the Sahel of Africa, where water is already in short supply.

However, the World Bank suggested that countries can enact policies now that will help them manage their water resources in the years ahead.

"When governments respond to water shortages by boosting efficiency and allocating even 25 percent of water to more highly-valued uses, losses decline dramatically and for some regions may even vanish," World Bank economist and author of the report Richard Damania stated in the release.

The World Bank report estimates GDP growth in the four affected regions could decline by as much as 6 percent by the year 2050 because of water-related impact on agriculture, health and incomes.

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