Did you know!
85% of the world population lives in the driest half of the planet
Water availability is expected to decrease in many regions. Yet future global agricultural water consumption alone is estimated to increase by ~19% by 2050, and will be even greater in the absence of any technological progress or policy intervention.
Water for irrigation and food production constitutes one of the greatest pressures on freshwater resources. Agriculture accounts for ~70% of global freshwater withdrawals (up to 90% in some fast-growing economies).
The treatment of waste water requires significant amounts of energy, and demand for energy to do this is expected to increase globally by 44% between 2006 and 2030 (IEA, 2009), especially in non-OECD countries where waste water currently receives little or no treatment (Corcoran et al., 2010).
Pollution knows no borders either. Up to 90% of waste water in developing countries flows untreated into rivers, lakes and highly productive coastal zones, threatening health, food security and access to safe drinking and bathing water.
Over 80% of used water worldwide is not collected or treated (Corcoran et al., 2010).
There are numerous examples where transboundary waters have proved to be a source of cooperation rather than conflict. Nearly 450 agreements on international waters were signed between 1820 and 2007 (OSU, 2007).
Over 90 international water agreements were drawn up to help manage shared water basins on the African continent (UNEP, 2010).