UN chief: Global water crisis has widespread impact

Photo: United Nations
Photo: United Nations(GIM)
Published: Mar. 22, 2018 at 2:09 PM EDT
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Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says on World Water Day that 40 percent of the world's population faces water scarcity.

The U.N. chief told diplomats and activists at Thursday's launch of the International Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development that "water is a matter of life and death," stressing that humans, cities, industries and agriculture depend on it.

But Guterres said more than 2 billion people lack access to safe water, over 4.5 billion lack adequate sanitation, "and more than 90 percent of disasters are water-related."

The secretary-general said he has prepared an action plan for the Water Decade to achieve U.N. goals for 2030 which include providing clean water and sanitation.