Water Scarcity: A Global Crisis
Water scarcity affects almost every continent and more than 40 percent of the people on our planet. Water scarcity, or lack of fresh-water access is beginning to impact every sector of business and industry.
By 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world’s population could be living under water stressed conditions.
Water risks are rapidly materializing for business: Disclosing companies reported US $14 billion in water-related impacts this year, a five-fold increase from last year.1
Over a quarter of companies have experienced detrimental impacts from water, and companies expect over half (54%) of the 4,416 water risks they identified to materialize within the next six years.2
1Information Provided by United Nations research on water.
22016 CDP Survey: 1,252 of the largest companies (on the MSCI All Country World Index) on behalf of 643 investors representing $67T assets.
In 2016, the World Economic Forum indicated water scarcity risks were as dangerous as Weapons of Mass Destruction, but more probable.*
|1st||Major systemic financial failure||Major systemic financial failure||Food crisis||Water crisis||Failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation||Weapons of mass destruction|
|2nd||Water crisis||Water crisis||Climate Change||Rapid and massive spread of infectious diseases||Weapons of mass destruction||Extreme weather events|
|3rd||Food shortage crisis||Chronic fiscal imbalances||Water crisis||Weapons of mass destruction||Water crisis||Water crises|
“Water as an asset class, in my view, will eventually become the single most important physical commodity – dwarfing oil, copper, agricultural commodities, and precious metals.”
– Willem Buiter, Chief Economist, Citigroup
By 2050, the world will need to feed an estimated two billion additional people.
As water becomes increasingly regulated and scarce – some estimates indicate industrial and residential water will become a $3.0 Trillion (USD) industry.
The National Geographic Society