For global water crisis, climate may be the last straw

Before man-made climate change kicked in — and well before “Day Zero” in Cape Town, where taps may run dry in early May — the global water crisis was upon us.

Freshwater resources were already badly stressed before heat-trapping carbon emissions from fossil fuels began to warm Earth’s surface and affect rainfall.

In some countries, major rivers — diverted, dammed or over-exploited — no longer reach the sea. Aquifers millennia in the making are being sucked dry. Pollution in many forms is tainting water above ground and below.

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