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Global demand for water to overtake its supply by 2050

Global demand for water to overtake its supply by 2050

WASHINGTON: Population growth could cause global demand for water to outpace supply by mid-century if current levels of consumption continue, according to a new study.
Using a delayed-feedback mathematical model that analyses historic data to help project future trends, the researchers identified a regularly recurring pattern of global water use in recent centuries.
Periods of increased demand for water, often coinciding with population growth or other major demographic and social changes, were followed by periods of rapid innovation of new water technologies that helped end or ease any shortages.
Based on this recurring pattern, researchers from Duke University predict a similar period of innovation could occur in coming decades.
“Researchers in other fields have previously used this model to predict earthquakes and other complex processes, including events like the boom and bust of the stock market during financial crises, but this is the first time it’s been applied to water use,” said Anthony Parolari, postdoctoral research associate in civil and environmental engineering at Duke.