Rich Nations Vulnerable to Water Disasters
The growing shortage of water - a perennial problem in the world's poorer nations - is expected to eventually reach the rich nations in the Western world.
The United States, Spain, Australia and the Netherlands are likely to face the consequences of climate change resulting in water-related disasters, including droughts, floods, hurricanes and sea-level rise.
"Even the world's richest nations are not immune," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned Tuesday.
Citing official U.S. figures, he said the state of California, the world's fifth largest economy, "could see prime farmland reduced to a dustbowl, and major cities running out of water by the end of the century".
Blaming it on the negative impact of global warming, he said that climate is changing - globally. "And so, therefore, must we."
He quoted scientists as saying that by 2020, 75 to 250 million people in Africa will face growing shortages of water due to climate change.