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Climate change means too much water for some, too little for others

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Thirsty Planet
A water shortage in Ranila village forces residents to walk more than a mile to get water from a well (left). Netafim executive Naty Barak and an agronomist who goes by the name Rogi in Kibbutz Hatzerim's Jojoba plantation (right).
Stephen Smith

Scientists say most people on Earth will first experience climate change in terms of water — either too much or too little.

Along with population change, pollution and overuse, climate change has resulted in much of Earth's freshwater becoming contaminated.

A report by the World Economic Forum warns that by mid-century one in every three people on the planet will live in water stressed countries.

Recent droughts in the U.S. have Americans thinking about water conservation in ways they never have before. But around the world these problems are frequent, and all-consuming.

A vast and ecologically diverse country, India suffers from water problems found across the globe: flooding, drought, pollution and lack of access for the poor.

In Israel, a combination of cutting-edge technology and sweeping government policy has largely solved the nation's long struggle with water scarcity. But the benefits of abundant water are not shared equally throughout Israel and the West Bank.

"Thirsty Planet," an APM Reports documentary, explores some of the most salient problems and solutions regarding water by looking at these two countries.

Stephen Smith, executive editor of APM Reports, narrated the documentary.

To listen to the documentary, click the audio player above.

Further reading

• Environmentalists: EPA plan to clean up Mississippi River not working

• Open water: Madeline Island watches, worries as winter climate shifts

• Discussion: How climate change affects water quality, sustainability

• More from MPR News Presents

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