Published on Monday, May 29, 2023

Global | The stubborn drought

The relentless increase in global temperatures combined with heat waves has led to less abundant and more irregular rainfall, more frequent and severe droughts conducive to wildfires, and also more in the way of storms and floods. Not only will it rain less, but fewer and fewer people will be glad to see the rain.

Key points

  • Key points:
  • Twenty-six percent of EU territory is on drought alert, with soil moisture deficit, and 4% is under alert conditions, with vegetation stress. The water and heat stress of droughts affects the entire production chain of the economy, especially the primary sector and energy production.
  • Increased demand for water plus the alteration of supply due to climate change aggravate water scarcity, foreshadowing further geopolitical conflicts in a landscape sorely lacking in multilateralism and collaboration.
  • Moreover, the problem of water scarcity is more complex than that of excess greenhouse gas emissions. Depending on its use, water can be treated as a public good (a right from which no one can be excluded) or a private commodity with defined property rights and market rules.
  • Policies must be put in place to ensure a sufficient supply of quality water and they need to be evidence-based, starting by disclosing the costs of water extraction, processing, supply and management.

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