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World Still Not Aware Of Water Scarcity Problems, Says IPCC Head

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Water scarcity problems are imminent due to the effects of climate change, but the world is not fully aware of their repercussions.

Speaking at a conference, Rajendra Pachauri, head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said that conflict will be unavoidable if the world continues to act harshly toward the environment.

A report from the IPCC predicted that by the end of the 21st century global temperature will have risen up to 8.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Global warming causes more severe weather events, leading to droughts that will affect agricultural productivity and food security.

Pachauri explained that agricultural activity will be highly affected when water becomes scarce because it requires a lot of water to carry out. Demand for animal meat, for instance, has been growing steadily and caring for livestock is water-intensive. Unfortunately, water supply can't keep up with the demand, no thanks to dramatic changes in the water cycle brought about by climate change.

Serious shortages in water are expected to hit countries like India the hardest, with the months June and July being the most challenging. As these dry months don't bring enough water, energy supply is also affected because power plants require a lot of water to run efficiently.

India is no stranger to water shortage. Back in 2013, New Delhi hospitals were forced to cancel surgical procedures because they didn't have water for sterilizing equipment, cleaning operating theaters and even just for medical staff to use in washing their hands.

However, the country is also being targeted by its neighbors Pakistan and Bangladesh, claiming New Delhi is monopolizing water in the area. Should water supply be lessened, conflict involving the three should not be surprising.

The last climate report published by the IPCC was released in March 2014. Reports are issued every five years, the most recent one looking at the impact, vulnerabilities and adaptations concerning climate change. Focused on mitigating the effects of climate change, the report was written with input from more than 600 experts and scientists across over 70 countries.

Key findings from the IPCC climate report showed that climate change is everywhere, putting both ecosystems and humans in danger.

Continued degradation of the environment will lead to lower food security, scarcer water, poorer human health and weaker economies, with risks concentrated in cities. It also pointed out that resilience plays an important role in mitigating the effects of climate change, but reducing carbon emissions should be treated as essential.

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