Matt Damon leads new drive to combat water scarcity

Matt Damon says he’ll kick up a stink and avoid using a toilet for a day to raise awareness of water scarcity around the world.

Well – not exactly.

Starring in a spoof press conference to promote World Water Day, Damon says banning himself from using the loo is the only way to “make people give a shit” about water issues around the world.

Water is where many of the impacts of climate change will be felt first and most acutely.

This puts the water industry and sanitation providers at the forefront in adapting to a changing climate – a major theme of this year’s World Water Day on March 22.

According to the UN, water scarcity already affects every continent and more than 40% of the people on our planet.

By 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world’s population could be living under water stressed conditions.

Poverty and hunger levels can be directly affected by water scarcity.

It takes about 1500 litres of water to produce 1 kg of wheat, but it takes 10 times more to produce 1 kg of beef.

As more countries develop demand for a high-protein diet is likely to increase.

Climate change is expected to impact both rainfed and irrigated agriculture, including feed and fodder for livestock, as well as forests and aquaculture.

Severe reductions in river runoff and aquifer recharge are expected in the Mediterranean Basin and in the semi-arid areas of the Americas, Australia and Southern Africa, affecting water availability and quality in already stressed regions.

Populations who live in fragile environments and depend on agriculture for their livelihoods face an immediate and increasing risk of crop failure or loss of livestock.

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