Water scarcity is a global problem currently affecting numerous regions around the world. The combination of factors such as population growth, urbanization, industrialization, climate change, and inefficient water management practices have contributed to the widespread problem of water scarcity. The consequences of water scarcity can be significant and far-reaching, affecting various aspects of society and the environment.
According to the latest data from World Resources Institute Aqueduct Water Risk Atlasthe world community is facing an unprecedented water emergency: 25 nations, which corresponds to a quarter of the world's population, are currently struggling with an exceptionally high annual water stress. Globally, about 4 billion people, who make up half of the world's population, experience water stress for at least one month a year. That number could increase to almost 60% by 2050.
By 2050, $70 trillion of GDP (31% of global GDP) will be under high water stress, up from $15 trillion (24% of global GDP) in 2010. Just four countries – India, Mexico, and Egypt Turkey – will be affected for more than half of exposed GDP in 2050, according to the report, which is published every four years.
The report found that 25 nations, accounting for a quarter of the world's population, suffer extremely severe water shortages every year. Among them, Bahrain, Cyprus, Kuwait, Lebanon and Oman are most affected. These regions could be vulnerable to water shortages even during a short period of drought.
The regions with the highest water stress are primarily the Middle East and North Africa, where an incredible 83% of the population is affected by extremely high water stress. In addition, in South Asia, a substantial 74% of the population is similarly exposed to such conditions.
“Water is arguably our most important resource on the planet, and yet we don't manage it in a way that reflects that. I've worked in the water field for almost ten years, and unfortunately the story is pretty much the same all 10 years,” said Samantha Kuzma, aqueduct data manager for WRI's water program and author of the report CNN.
Urgent action is essential to address the urgent water crisis. Feasible and economically viable solutions are within reach, but the decisive factor is the commitment of policy makers and the allocation of financial resources.
The report's authors stressed that it is imperative that all levels of government join forces with communities and businesses to take responsibility for shaping a future where water security is a universal guarantee.