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Ensuring Clean Water For Food, Health Requires ‘Collective Action’

“As we mark World Water Day, the alarming statistics underlying water scarcity are worth repeating. Worldwide 2.7 billion people are currently affected by water shortages,” Manish Bapna, acting president of the World Resources Institute (WRI), and Betsy Otto, director of WRI’s Aqueduct Project, write in a Forbes opinion piece, noting that population growth, increasing food demand, and climate change threaten access to water. “Clean, abundant water is essential for life and economic growth. Since it is a finite resource, we need to find solutions that will ensure we can use water more efficiently and mange water systems more wisely,” they state.

“We need better and more comprehensive data on water: where it is scarce, where it is abundant, what the quality is, and who is using it. Given the competing demands for water — from food and drinking to manufacturing — water security must be a shared endeavor,” Bapna and Otto write, concluding, “Effective solutions will require collective action drawing on input from all users: communities, industry, agriculture, governments and more” (3/21).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.