World-wide water scarcity

World-wide water scarcity

Climate models predict changes in rainfall and temperature. The World Resources Institute has created a map of the countries most likely to be affected by the changes in weather patterns in 2040.



The United Nations Department for Social and Economic affairs states that water scarcity is both an anthropogenic and a natural occurrence that affects every continent.


Around one fifth of the world’s population live in areas of water scarcity and around a quarter live where there is a lack of infrastructure for water abstraction. This lack of infrastructure is known as an economic water shortage.




There are at least five reasons for water scarcity around the planet:

  • Freshwater is not distributed evenly around the planet
  • The increase in water use has been growing at more than double the rate of the population increase over the last century.
  • Water is wasted in distribution networks.
  • Pollution.
  • Unsustainable water management.


This combination of factors is leading to chronic water shortages in an ever increasing number of regions.


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Urban water atlas for Europe

Urban water atlas for Europe


In March 2017 the first Urban Water Atlas for Europe was published by the Joint Research Centre, the European Commission's science and knowledge service.



The atlas contains comprehensive research into how water is managed in cities from source to drinking water to waste water management.


Water consumption and lifestyle impacts are analysed by experts from industry and academia. Benchmarks for forty European cities are set and used as a tool for assessing where changes in water use could be improved.




Technical and scientific information is combined to provide a holistic view of how water management choices affect the long term sustainability of water resources in cities.


City Blueprints feature in the Atlas. These are the web charts at the bottom of the city overviews. The charts provide a visual snapshot of how the city is performing in twenty five sectors.


More information on city blueprints to follow.


For more information on the Atlas click here or visit

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Water Stress modelling for 2040

The World Resources Institute has mapped the countries that are likely to be the most water-stressed in 2040.


water stress world map 2040


Water consumption is increasing with the rise in populations and water intensive food production and electricity generation. Water supply in cities is increasing daily with the world-wide trend for people to move from rural to urban living.


Changes in climate exacerbate water stress. Modelling predicts longer periods of hot dry weather in some areas. Along with temperature changes, climate models predict some areas will have increased or reduced precipitation. Changes in rainfall create challenges with drought and flooding and higher temperatures increase water consumption and the demand for energy.


More information at the World Resources Institute



If you find any interesting facts or news articles, share your findings with the MK Water Community by joining the forum.




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  • user

    This is super scary!!!


    gold30 January 2019 - 5:6 PM
    Comment (0)


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