SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

The availability of fresh water resources per capita fell by an average of 1.6% globally from 2001–2002, according to the World Bank's “Little Green Data Book 2004,” released on 28 April. The study notes that an even sharper decline of 2.6% in the water-scarce regions of the Middle East and North Africa, and warns that some countries soon could cross a “water scarcity threshold” of 1,000 cubic meters per person. James Evans, acting director of the bank's environment department, said, “In the short term, population growth will be the main pressure on scarce water resources. In the long run, climate change may exacerbate the problems, causing irreversible impacts, especially in arid and semi-arid zones.”