Water Scarcity Looms

September 13, 2009 • Daily Email Recap

Water scarcity grows in urgency in many regions as population growth, climate change, pollution, lack of investment, and management failures restrict the amount of water available relative to demand. The Stockholm International Water Institute calculated in 2008 that 1.4 billion people live in “closed basins”-regions where existing water cannot meet the agricultural, industrial, municipal, and environmental needs of all.1 Their estimate is consistent with a 2007 Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) calculation that 1.2 billion people live in countries and regions that are water-scarce.2 And the situation is projected to worsen rapidly: FAO estimates that the number of water-scarce will rise to 1.8 billion by 2025, particularly as population growth pushes many countries and regions into the scarcity column.

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