The world is facing an “unprecedented water crisis” driven by soaring demand and the accelerating climate crisis, according to a new report.
A quarter of the world’s population currently faces “extremely high water stress” each year, with an additional 1 billion people expected to be affected by 2050, according the World Resources Institute’s Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas published Wednesday.
Extremely high water stress means countries are using almost all the water they have – at least 80% of their renewable supply, according to the report, which is published every four years.
The report found that 25 countries, representing 25% of the global population, experience extremely high water stress each year, with Bahrain, Cyprus, Kuwait, Lebanon and Oman the five most affected. Even a short-term drought could put these places at risk of running out of water.