Reversing the trend

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 October, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 19 October, 2003, 12:00am

One of the most immediate problems around the world is water scarcity.

During World Population Awareness Week, that runs from tomorrow until Saturday, we need to recognise that more than 1.2 billion people in the world do not have access to safe drinking water and half of the world's 6.3 billion people lack adequate water purification systems. If we don't do something to reverse current population trends, the statistics will get worse.

The world's population is projected to increase to more than nine billion by 2050, at which time almost seven billion people in 60 countries could face water scarcity. It is clear to me that if the world's population continues to grow, there will not be enough water to go around. The maths is simple - more people means less water available per person.

In order to stop overburdening the Earth and its resources, we must allow every woman access to voluntary family planning.

In observance of World Population Awareness Week, it is imperative to make the population connection. Increased access to family planning will lead to a solution to the problem of water scarcity.