According to the World Bank, 1.6 billion people were living in regions with absolute water scarcity in 2014. The number is expected to rise to 2.8 billion people by 2025.‚Äč

The World Health Organization predicts approximately 150,000 deaths a year could result from climate change in low-income countries due to crop failure and malnutrition, floods, and diarrheal and vector-borne diseases.

Clean, safe water is essential for drinking, washing and control of disease. Without adequate supplies of potable water, developing countries are vulnerable to poverty and national or regional conflict. Climate-induced cuts to water supply pose a serious threat in many regions of the world.

Yet a surplus of water is equally undesirable. Standing water from climate-induced flooding can breed vector-borne diseases. Malaria, chikungunya, West Nile, dengue fever, Lyme disease, and yellow fever know no borders, infecting victims via mosquitos, flies, ticks and other vectors.

APHL is addressing challenges to the global water suppy by participating in the US Water Partnership. Members of the global public health laboratory community identify through surveillance and analysis ways in which climate change affects health. By sharing this information with health officials, public health laboratories help to counter the effects of climate change.

For more information, contact Ava Onalaja, MS, MPH, senior specialist, Global Health, 240.485.2719, ava.onalaja@aphl.org