Water is required for life, livelihoods and prosperity. Its variability, both in the absence and presence of water, already poses a substantial threat to 40 percent of the global population. The absence of reliable water is killing millions of people per year, threatening food security, disrupting energy supply, restricting trade, creating refugees, and undermining authority. The presence of too much water is a cause of death, poverty, and devastation through floods and landslides.
Although water insecurity is perceived to be a long-term risk, the world suffers from its impacts regularly today as a result of poor water resource management. If business-as-usual water resource management continues, the global water demand and supply gap is projected to be 40 percent by 2030 given the projected population and economic growth. Climate variability will only exacerbate the problem even further. It is imperative that we address the global water challenge today to prepare for the growing risks in the future.