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Population increase implies increased freshwater demand of about 64 billion cubic metres a year

The world’s population is growing by about 80 million people a year, implying increased freshwater demand of about 64 billion cubic metres a year. Competition for water exists at all levels and is forecast to increase with demands for water in almost all countries.

World Water Development Report 2012
  

Meat production requires 8-10 times more water than cereal production

Part of the current pressure on water resources comes from increasing demands for animal feed. Meat production requires 8-10 times more water than cereal production.

World Water Development Report 2012
  

Over 1.4 billion people currently live in river basins where the use of water exceeds minimum recharge levels

Over 1.4 billion people currently live in river basins where the use of water exceeds minimum recharge levels, leading to the desiccation of rivers and depletion of groundwater. In 60% of European cities with more than 100 000 people, groundwater is being used at a faster rate than it can be replenished.

Human Development Report 2006, World Business Council For Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
  

15% of the world’s total water withdrawals used for energy production

15% of the world’s total water withdrawals in 2010 – or about 583 billion m3 - were used for energy production. Water demand for energy will certainly increase as energy demand is expected to increase by more than one third in the period 2010–2035.

World Water Development Report 2014
  

Global water withdrawals are projected to increase by some 55% through 2050

Global water withdrawals are projected to increase by some 55% through 2050 due to growing demands from manufacturing (400%), thermal electricity generation (140%) and domestic use (130%).

World Water Development Report 2014
  

Thermal power plants produce 80% of global electricity production and require water for cooling

Thermal power plants are responsible for roughly 80% of global electricity production. Power plant cooling is responsible for 43% of total freshwater withdrawals in Europe, nearly 50% in the USA, and more than 10% in China.

World Water Development Report 2014
  

Hydroelectricity is currently the largest renewable source for power generation

Hydroelectricity is currently the largest renewable source for power generation in the world. Hydropower’s share in total electricity generation is expected to remain around 16% through 2035.

World Water Development Report 2014
  

Hydropower generation is a major water user but most of the water is returned to the river

Although hydropower generation is a major water user, most of the water used is returned to the river downstream even though it is in part consumptive (reservoir evaporation) and has important impacts on other attributes of streamflows (timing and quality).

World Water Development Report 2014
  
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Last update:06 Feb 2014