With rising global temperatures around the world, water scarcity and droughts are increasing. There is a high economic and social cost of droughts. According to the United Nations, in the coming years, water scarcity will have a higher socio-economic cost compared to COVID-19.
According to a report by the United Nations, droughts have triggered economic losses worth $124 billion and affected almost 1.5 billion people from 1998 to 2017. The reports also highlight that global warming is now more intense in Southern Europe and Western Africa. Experts believe that the acceleration of global warming can be delayed if a cap is placed on the activities of high-emission industries. If the high-emission industrial activity is not reduced, about 130 countries could potentially face a high risk of experiencing droughts. In addition, 23 countries would be confronted with water shortages due to exponential growth in population and increasing emissions.
The effects of droughts are contagious because they have a wide geographical reach and the damages multiply over time. The effects of a drought cannot be contained to a specific region as its effects like food insecurity and inflation in food prices can be spread across countries and continents.