The World Resources Institute (WRI) updated its Global Water Risk Atlas revealing that 17 countries–home of a quarter of the world’s population–will face “extremely high” water stress within 20 years. Water stress is defined as the ratio between water withdrawals (i.e., domestic, agricultural, and industrial water uses) and available renewable water supplies. Risk categories of ‘high’ and ‘extremely high’ water stress are reached when yearly withdrawals exceed 40 percent and 80 percent of available renewable water supplies, respectively.
Some readers may remember last year when Cape Town was approaching ‘day zero’, the day when municipal water supplies were going dry. Depending on where you live, some might have wondered “how long until that happens to us?” Read more >