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Governments should focus on “greener” policies to improve the supply and quality of water as climate change and a growing global population threatens the water security of billions, the United Nations said on Monday.

In its 2018 World Water Development Report, the UN calculated that an estimated 3.6 billion people – nearly half the global population – live in areas where water can be scarce at least one month per year.

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And this number could rise to 5.7 billion by 2050, the report warned.

“If we do nothing, some five billion people will be living in areas with poor access to water by 2050,” said UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, at the presentation of the report in Brasilia.

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