Will water shortages dry up global economies?

Water shortages will severely stunt Gross Domestic Product in the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Asia by 2050 unless water-management practices are changed, according to a report from the World Bank.

The Middle East could lose 14 percent of its GDP, Africa north of the Sahara Desert 12 percent, and central Asia — mostly the “stan” countries — 11 percent. East Asia — including countries such as China, Japan, Korea and Thailand — could drop as much as of 7 percent of GDP. Shortages are not expected to impact economies in western Europe or North America. However, droughts can change that. In addition, with global populations soaring, will there be enough fresh water?

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