This warning was issued last week by more than 500 scientists from various international leading institutes. They pointed out that fresh water is not a resource that will be continuously renewed and available, mainly because of the over-use of the supplies.
Millions already rely on ground water sources, which will soon run out. In addition, nearly 5 billion people live in areas where the nearest water source, often polluted, is more than 50km away.
As temperatures rise, scientists predict higher intensity heatwaves, storms, floods and droughts. The increasing pollution levels, on the other hand, mainly due to wrong agricultural and industrial practices, are likely to affect fish population of rivers and exhaust water resources.
Interestingly, although the most threatened areas belong to developing countries, the scientists warned that the westernised world is not protected either. In the US and Europe, over-extraction for irrigation has resulted in drying of water sources, forcing farmers to abandon their land.
The scientists urged politicians to agree on targets and goals that can support the development of functioning water management systems.