New Analysis Paints an Alarming Picture of the Global Water Crisis

As many as a quarter of the people in the world live in areas that are facing the risk of running out of water. This disturbing statistic comes out of a new analysis of the global water crisis. Analysts also found that 17 of the world’s countries use up a very high percentage of their water supply each year. World Resources Institute (WRI) is the organization behind the study. It is based in Washington, D.C.


Global Water Shortages

Water is a life-giving resource, but studies show that safe drinking water is in short supply in many different places around the world. Examples of nations that are particularly affected by this water shortage include several in South Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East. This year, India was gripped by severe water scarcity in a number of cities. India is also among the 17 countries that use over 80 percent of their annual supplies. Also on the list are Eritrea and Israel. Altogether, the 17 nations make up a quarter of the global population.

Water scarcity is a real problem, which authorities are grabbling with. Some of the reasons behind the current shortages include high demand from a growing population, drought conditions, and other severe disasters that threaten safe water supplies. Besides population growth and climate change, economic issues also affect water risk.

WRI made use of data on domestic, industrial, and agricultural water usage collected between the years of 1961 and 2014. The research team, including data scientist Rutger Hofste, also sourced information about local water sources. All this information was fed into the institute’s algorithm, the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas, to quantify the water stress or risk experienced by different countries. This work expands the online calculator, which previously used 2010 data to show the global demand for water.

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