Water is vital for most economic activities and is essential to sustain livelihoods and ecosystems. The challenges around water management in many countries are immense. Over 800 million people don’t have access to clean water, and about 4 billion people live with the lack of water not less than one month per year. Of these 4 billion, almost 1 billion live in India, and 0.9 billion – in China. At least 3.4 million people die from water-borne diseases each year. Rapid population growth, when combined with the growth in wealth and dietary changes, is increasing the demand for water. Eighteen river basins that flow through countries with a collective $27 trillion in GDP face ‘extremely’ high levels of baseline water stress. More than 80% of water is withdrawn annually, leaving different users vulnerable to scarcity. One-third of the large groundwater basins are being depleted by humans. Resilient water supply is a source of freshwater for two billion people. Climate change will have an impact on the availability of water in many countries. Climate change will significantly reduce renewable water resources in many dry subtropical regions over the 21st century. (Source: Investhandbook July, 2019)
GFES controls valuable water resources in the United States.
Predicting the future of global water stress
MIT researchers find that by 2050 more than half the world’s population will live in water-stressed areas and about a billion or more will not have sufficient water resources.
The Future of Global Water Stress: An Integrated Assessment
MIT assess ability of global water systems, resolved at 282 large river basins or Assessment Sub Regions (ASRs), to the meet water requirements over the coming decades under integrated projections of socioeconomic growth and climate change.