In 2030, 47% of world population will be living in areas of high water stress. Most population growth will occur in developing countries, mainly in regions that are already experiencing water stress and in areas with limited access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities.
Water scarcity already affects almost every continent and more than 40 percent of the people on our planet. 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.
Humans are over-consuming natural resources at an unsustainable rate. Around 3.5 planets Earth would be needed to sustain a global population achieving the current lifestyle of the average European or North American.
The total usable freshwater supply for ecosystems and humans is about 200 000 km3 of water - less than 1 percent of all freshwater resources.
Freshwater lakes and rivers contain an estimated 105 000 km3 or around 0.3 percent of the world's freshwater.
Around 30 percent of the world's freshwater is stored underground in the form of groundwater (shallow and deep groundwater basins up to 2 000 metres, soil moisture, swamp water and permafrost). This constitutes about 97 percent of all the freshwater that is potentially available for human use.
The total volume of water on Earth is about 1.4 billion km3. The volume of freshwater resources is around 35 million km3, or about 2.5 percent of the total volume. Of these freshwater resources, about 24 million km3 or 70 percent is in the form of ice and permanent snow cover in mountainous regions, the Antarctic and Arctic regions.
In developing countries, 70 percent of industrial waste is dumped untreated into waters where they pollute the usable water supply.
The food sector contributes respectively 40 and 54 percent to the production of organic water pollutants in high-income and low-income countries.