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2.3 Billion People Live in Water Stressed Nations

Water stress relates not only to lack of access to fresh, clean water but to how much we use and how we use it. Here is some global data from the UN on the big picture of water stress:

Billion People Live in Water Stressed Nations   ©The Earth & I
  • A “water-stressed” territory or country withdraws 25% or more of its renewable freshwater.

  • Today, about 2.3 billion people live in water-stressed countries. About 733 million live in “high and critically water-stressed” nations.

  • Five out of the globe’s 11 regions have estimated water stress values above 25%.

  • 3.2 billion people live in agricultural territories with “high to very high water shortages or scarcity.” About 1.2 billion people live in “severely water-constrained agricultural areas.”

  • Of all water withdrawals, 72% are used for agriculture, 16% by municipalities (for households and services), and 12% for industries.

  • 450 million children live today in areas of “high or extremely high water vulnerability.”

  • About 4 billion people suffer from “severe water scarcity” for at least one month of the year.

  • It is estimated that 700 million people could be displaced by “intense water scarcity” by 2030.

– Source: United Nations

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