A new report by the United Nations warns that a "radical new approach" to managing the world's water resources is needed to mitigate increasing scarcity.
The report was issued to coincide with the opening of the World Water Forum in France, a six-day gathering of policymakers, corporations, and nongovernmental groups held every three years.
The report estimates that worldwide demand for food will increase by some 70 percent by 2050, leading to a nearly 20 percent increase in global agricultural water consumption.
Without a crackdown on waste, water scarcity will worsen, the report predicts.
The report also says climate change will have "a growing impact," altering rainfall patterns and causing water-related disasters such as floods and drought.
Government ministers attending the forum in France were expected to issue a nonbinding statement on March 13 pledging to work on water-related challenges.
With AFP reporting