CNBC's Charmaine Jacob is reporting that water scarcity is radidly emerging as a global economic threat.
There is growing global economic threat posed by water scarcity, particularly affecting large Asian economies like India and China. Asia, known for rapid urbanization and industrialization, requires substantial water resources, not only for traditional industries like steel but also for emerging sectors like semiconductor manufacturing and clean energy production. Global demand for fresh water is expected to surpass supply by 40% to 50% by 2030.
India, with 18% of the world's population, is the most water-stressed country globally, heavily reliant on monsoon rains, which are becoming increasingly erratic due to climate change. China faces similar challenges, with a significant portion of its groundwater and river water polluted and a reliance on water for coal power generation.
The craziest of of the article is that even Western countries won't remain unaffected by the water crisis, as Europe is experiencing water scarcity due to the deepening climate emergency. Sectors like Taiwan's semiconductor industry, heavily dependent on water, are vulnerable to shortages, but there's potential for water recycling.
Water scarcity also threatens the energy transition to renewables, as seen in China's case where droughts impacted hydroelectricity and led to an increase in coal power capacity.
Agriculture-dependent economies are at risk of reduced output and food security issues due to water scarcity, as demonstrated by Australia's expected decline in agricultural production. While solutions like building new water supplies are possible, longer periods of drought pose a growing risk to food production and agriculture.
(This article was written with assistance from ChatGPT)