by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
Massive flooding and droughts around the world cost more than $224 billion last year alone, Reuters reports.
Assessing the water risks in seven countries representing varied economic and climatic conditions: the United States, China, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Philippines, the United Arab Emirates and Australia, Aquanomics used a bespoke model to estimate the future economic impact of water risk from droughts, floods and storms at both GDP and sector level: “The numbers are staggering – $5.6 trillion could be lost between 2022 and 2050,” Aquanomics said in its report.
According to Aquanomics, all five of the critical sectors in the global economy – agriculture, banking and insurance, energy and utilities – are vulnerable to water risk.
However, manufacturing and distribution would be the hardest hit, costing $4.2 trillion: water shortages brought on by droughts impede production, and flooding destroys infrastructure and inventory.
Meanwhile, the agricultural sector, also clearly affected by both drought and torrential rains, could suffer $332 billion in losses by 2050, Aquanomics said.
“We know that water is fundamental to the health of our climate, ecosystems, cultures, communities, and livelihoods,” Aquanomics said.
“But the intensifying climate crisis is producing more extreme water events and increasing the damage, disruption, and loss they cause to our communities – in 2021 alone, 100 million people globally were affected by floods, storms, and droughts.”