NEWS

Demand rising but sanitation inadequate

Worldwide demand for water is rising just as access to safe drinking water and sanitation remains inadequate in much of the developing world, the United Nations said Monday, calling for better management to alleviate water shortages. Population growth and mobility, as well as increased energy production, especially of biofuels such as ethanol, are contributing to the high demand for water, UNESCO said on the first day of a global water forum in Istanbul. «With increasing shortages, good governance is more than ever essential for water management. Combating poverty also depends on our ability to invest in this resource,» said Koichiro Matsuura, director-general of the UN agency. He urged leaders who will gather for the G-8 summit in Italy in July to pledge investment in water resources to help prevent a «major water crisis.» UNESCO said half a billion people in Africa lack access to adequate sanitation, and that 5,000 children die daily from diarrhea that can be prevented with clean water. (AP)