Water is already over-appropriated in many regions of the world. More than one-third of the world’s population – roughly 2.4 billion people – live in water-stressed countries and by 2025 the number is expected to rise to two-thirds. Groundwater tables and river levels are receding in many parts of the world due to human water use. In many areas, there is not enough water left in the environment to support healthy ecosystems and the services they provide.
Many local governments do not have the capacity or funds to manage their water resources. This often leads to insufficient and inconsistent delivery of water; low quality, polluted water sources; unreliable infrastructure; and a lack of planning for water shortages or climate change.
Business Impacts of Water Scarcity and Unsustainable Supply
- Decreased water supply for business activities.
- Increased water costs.
- Operational disruptions and associated financial loss.
- Impacts on future growth and license to operate.
Global Water Stress
Source: UNEP GRID-A 2009
For additional information on global water stress, see this study from the Water Footprint Network.