10 Most Important Water Scarcity Facts

1. In 2019, water scarcity currently affects 2.3 billion people. This is around 31% of the world population today.

2. Over the next decade, this number is expected to climb to over 2.7 billion.

3. China, with 311 million people living under absolute water scarcity, is the country with most people living in water scarce areas. This number represents around 36% of the country’s current population.

4. According to the World Bank, Peru is ranked 12th in renewable internal freshwater resources per capita. At the same time, according to our Water Scarcity Clock, 57% of Peruvians suffer from water scarcity. This is due to Peru’s coast, which is a desert, home to half the population of the country.

5. The top three water stressed countries in the world (Qatar, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates) are in the Arabian Peninsula. Over 90% of the population in each respective country are living in water scarce areas.

6. Measured by average annual precipitation, Egypt is the driest country in the world with only 51 mm of rain per year. Colombia is the wettest country with around 3,240 mm of annual rainfall.

7. According to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), water scarcity will displace between 24 million and 700 million people all over the world by the end of the next decade.

8. Globally, farming accounts for approximately 70% of the world’s water usage and competition for water resources is increasing due to demand.

9. Every day, girls and women around the world spend on average 200 million hours collecting water for their families. According to UNICEF, in Sub-Saharan Africa, one round trip to collect water takes on average 33 minutes in rural areas and 25 minutes in urban areas.

10. A third of the world’s biggest underground water systems are already in distress.

Water scarcity may be the defining issue of our time. The world population is forecasted to increase over the near future indicating that there will be no end to the world’s demand for water.