Population growth a threat, say engineers


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The Independent Online

The problems posed by the growth in the human population in the coming century could be solved with existing technology, according to a study by leading engineers.

Over the next six decades the world's population is expected to soar from 6.9 billion to peak at 9.5 billion in 2075, says a report by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

But without drastic changes there will not be sufficient resources to provide people with basic human needs such as water, food, energy and shelter, says the report, entitled Population: One Planet, Too Many People?

The report, compiled with the help of more than 70 engineers around the world, sets out a series of "engineering development goals" as a first step towards averting disaster.

Reducing energy waste, improving food storage and extracting water from underground aquifers would allow the world to sustain a population of 9.5 billion, said the report's lead author Dr Tim Fox.