Water crisis doesn’t care if countries are rich or poor

Water crisis: not just for poor countries anymore. Industrialized nations must make drastic policy changes if they wish to maintain water supplies, warns the World Wildlife Fund today. In cities from Seville to Sydney to Sacramento, water has become a hot political issue as supply declines thanks to everything from global warming to wetlands loss. A report by the International Water Management Institute, also published today, said that a third of the world faces water shortages; water use has increased by six times in the last century and will double again by 2050, mostly from agricultural use. WWF suggests a combination of solutions — conserving, repairing infrastructure, reducing pollution, and requiring agriculture interests in rich countries to pay more for water and be held accountable for efficient use — but noted that implementing common-sense measures “in the face of habitual practices and intense lobbying by vested interests has been very difficult.” You think?