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Shell Chief Says World to Face 40 Percent Water-Supply Shortfall

Friday, June 10, 2011

June 10 (Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc Chief Executive Officer Peter Voser said global demand for fresh water may outstrip supply by 40 percent in 20 years.

Shell, together with the International Energy Agency and World Business Council for Sustainable Development, is conducting research on water use in the energy industry, Voser said yesterday in London. The Hague-based company has begun using water recycling technologies at its ventures in Brazil and other operations.

“Today’s water solutions use energy and increase CO2 emissions,” Voser said in the speech posted on Shell’s website. “So the challenge will be to develop technologies that can reduce both water use and CO2 emissions.”

Some Middle Eastern nations use 65 percent of oil consumed at home to run desalination plants to produce fresh water, Voser said. At the same time, the process is making the Persian Gulf saltier.

“NASA has pointed out, ocean salinity could have disturbing effects on ocean circulation and climate change over time,” Voser said.

–Editors: Alex Devine, Stephen Cunningham

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