The World Meteorological Organization's first State of Global Water Resources report finds large areas of Earth recorded dryer than normal conditions in 2021, compared to the average of the 30-year hydrological base period.
The report on Tuesday reflects that last year's precipitation patterns were influenced by climate change and a La Niña event. The area with below-average streamflow was about two times larger than the above-average area, in comparison to the 30-year hydrological average, WMO reported.
Some 3.6 billion people face inadequate access to water at least one month per year and this is expected to increase to more than 5 billion by 2050, according to the U.N. weather agency.
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