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Expert: Ending the global water crisis ‘starts in your back yard’

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Reports on the state of the world’s freshwater ecosystems sound a single refrain: humanity is facing a water crisis. 

Researchers project that by 2030 the demand for water could outstrip supply by 40 percent. And severe floods and droughts caused by climate change are only exacerbating the problem. 

Although climate change and the water crisis are linked, tackling these issues requires a different set of strategies, according to Derek Vollmer and Ian Harrison, freshwater scientists at Conservation International. 

In a recent paper, they argue that countries and companies looking to improve water security should steer clear of global goals and instead focus on addressing impacts closer to home — in specific watersheds and communities. 

Conservation News spoke to Vollmer about the key differences between the climate crisis and the water crisis — and why we must tap into different solutions for each. 

Question: How does the climate crisis affect water insecurity around the world?

Despite these similarities, we found that borrowing from the climate action “playbook” is not…

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