More than 100 million people in southern African countries lack access to safe drinking water and 174 million lack access to toilets, despite economic growth in the region, the Guardian reported, citing a new report from the international organization WaterAid. The report found that progress on improved access has been slow for the past 20 years, and both national and international resources are being misallocated.
The second phase of the Lesotho Highlands water supply project will begin construction next month, Bloomberg News reported. The project is meant to supply water and hydroelectricity, and will be completed in 2018.
Drinking water shortages in the Republic of the Congo, where both groundwater and surface water are typically plentiful, are a product of poor infrastructure, according to a report from the Global Water Partnership, France 24 reported. The report notes that the country lacks adequate water treatment facilities as well as a water distribution network.
The annual economic cost of floods in Europe could increase by five times by 2050 to an estimated $US 31 billion, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change, the Guardian reported. The increase takes into account stronger storms caused by climate change, population growth, and urbanization.