UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that 3.6 billion people face inadequate access to water for at least one month a year.

Guterres added - in a tweet via Twitter - that this number is expected to rise to more than 5 billion by 2050.

The UN Secretary-General's comment quoted a World Meteorological Organization report that provides an overview of river flows, as well as major floods and droughts.

The report reviews hotspots of changes in freshwater storage, and highlights the critical role of cryosphere vulnerability.

The report shows how large areas of the globe recorded drier than normal conditions in 2021, the year in which precipitation patterns were affected by climate change.

And the United Nations warned - yesterday, Tuesday - that all regions of the world witnessed extreme weather events related to water in the past year, and that billions of people suffer from a scarcity of this precious resource.

Large areas of the world experienced more drought than normal conditions in 2021, due to climate change and the "El Niña" weather phenomenon, according to the World Meteorological Organization in its first annual report on the state of global water resources.

The organization prepared the report to help assess the effects of climate, environmental and societal change on the world's water resources.

The aim of this annual assessment is to support the monitoring and management of global freshwater resources, in an era of increasing demand and limited supplies.

Currently, 3.6 billion people face difficulty getting enough water for at least one month a year, and this number is expected to increase to more than 5 billion by 2050, according to the report.

The report indicated that 74 percent of all natural disasters were water-related between 2001 and 2018.

"Major flood phenomena with many casualties" were reported.

depletion of rivers

"Large areas of the globe recorded drier-than-usual conditions in 2021, compared to the average hydrological base period of 30 years," the report added.

These areas included the Rio de la Plata region in South America, where persistent drought has affected the region since 2019, as well as the southern Amazon River, southeastern Amazon River, and river basins in North America including the Colorado, Missouri, and Mississippi river basins.

In Africa, rivers such as the Niger, Volta, Nile and Congo discharged below normal in 2021.

Also in the same year, the discharge rate was below average in rivers in regions of Russia, Western Siberia and Central Asia.

Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia have had several consecutive years of below-average rainfall, causing a regional drought.

On the other hand, massive flooding events with many casualties were reported in several regions, including China, northern India, western Europe and countries affected by tropical cyclones such as Mozambique, the Philippines and Indonesia.

glacial resources

The report notes that the cryosphere (glaciers, snow cap, ice sheet and permafrost where they exist) is the world's largest natural reservoir of fresh water.

It is the source of rivers and the fresh water supply for an estimated 1.9 billion people.

Changes in cryospheric water resources affect food security, human health, and the integrity and preservation of ecosystems, with significant implications for economic and social development.

The report indicates that the melting of glaciers worldwide increased in 2021.