WMO and UNESCO have joined forces to meet water challenges. The following is from an excerpt on the International Conference on Hydrology, convened in Geneva in February 1999:
Solutions to the worlds water problems must be sought today to stop the escalating water crisis. Unless adequate responses are found, the water situation will be drastic in many parts of the world with catastrophic consequences for the poorer communities in developing countries.
Secretary General of WMO, Professor G.O.P. Obasi underlined the need for a greater global synergy to overcome the serious problems of freshwater shortages caused by a combination of climatic variability, contamination of clean water resources, demographic growth and environmentally harmful human activities.
Using the UN population projections and assuming that the renewable water resources will remain unchanged, some 34 countries are projected to face water stress by the year 2025. Currently some 29 countries suffer from moderate to severe water scarcity. It is projected that the number of people living in water-scarce countries will rise from 132 million in 1990 to between 653 million (with the lower population growth projection) and 904 million (with the high population growth projection) in 2025. By the year 2025, the population projected to be living in water-scarce countries will rise to between 1.06 billion and 2.43 billion, representing roughly 13% to 20% of the projected global population. While Africa and parts of western Asia appear particularly vulnerable to increasing water scarcity, the list of potentially affected regions include north-western China, western and southern India, large parts of Pakistan and Mexico, and the western coasts of the United States and South America."