Cities will also have to face the water issue
Today the priority is to combat and reduce water wastage in all sectors: agriculture, industry, individuals and cities. It can be estimated that by 2050, 90% of Europeans could live in urban areas. And the number of mega-cities is increasing worldwide, particularly in developing countries exactly where access to drinking water is already the most problematic. Cities and towns will therefore have to struggle with the agricultural world and energy utilities to ensure a supply of water. In this context of great tension the renewal of vital infrastructure and especially water pipelines and sewage networks is a major financial challenge for any public authority. Urban growth can only exacerbate the competition among water users. And climate change can only worsen the situation. It will generate more extreme weather events. Groundwater depletion will certainly become the greatest threat to urban water supplies in the next decades. The scarcity of water resources due to climate change, the growth of population and urbanisation is not the only problem to be tackled. Indeed, and on another front, the OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050 projects that the number of people at risk from floods will rise from 1.2 billion to 1.6 billion by 2050. And the economic value of the assets at risk is expected to amount US$ 45 trillion on that same date. The populations of the largest coastal cities will likely be the most affected by climate change. What we know for sure is that cities and towns will have to make massive investments in water infrastructure. And, as a result, the price of water can only keep on rising reflecting the resource scarcity. It can be hoped that this will lead to greater awareness among all water users about a natural resource which has become a rare resource.