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

Global water withdrawals are projected to increase by 55% through 2050 due to growing demands from manufacturing (400%), thermal electricity generation (140%) and domestic use (130%). The largest proportion of this growth will occur in countries with developing or emerging economies and increasing standards of living, through their greater demand for food, energy and other goods, the production of which can require significant quantities of water. Roughly 75% of all industrial water withdrawals are used for energy production. Groundwater is the primary source of drinking water worldwide: globally, the rate of groundwater abstraction is increasing by 1-2% per year. There is clear evidence that groundwater supplies are diminishing, with an estimated 20% of the world's aquifers being over-exploited, some critically so.

Last update:06 Feb 2014