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Up to half of world’s water supply stolen annually, study finds

As water scarcity increases from factors including climate change, so do drivers of water theft, an ongoing problem in Australia

Between 30% and 50% of the world’s water supply is stolen each year, mainly by agricultural interests and farmers, yet the crime itself is not well understood, a new international study led by the University of Adelaide says.

The lead author, Dr Adam Loch, from the university’s Centre for Global Food and Resources, said there was a lack of data around water theft partly because those stealing the resource were often poor, vulnerable and at-risk in developing countries.

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