The world’s water systems face formidable threats due to unsustainable management and climate change. 70% of global water withdrawals is used for agriculture, while 19% is used for industry.

One-quarter of the world lives in countries facing extremely high water stress, where more than 80% of the available supply is withdrawn every year. By 2025, as many as 3.5 billion people could experience water scarcity. Water demand is projected to rise 50% by 2030, but water supplies physically cannot grow in parallel. Water stress can be the backdrop for increasing water-related conflicts, political instability, and migration pressure.

Ensuring a water secure future is essential. On World Water Day, WRI's Water Program is providing a roundup of upcoming events, recent research, and articles.

World Water Day Resources

Chat 4 Change: Advocating for Citywide Inclusive and Resilient Access to Safe and Affordable Water

WRI India Ross Center is hosting a webinar on citywide inclusive, resilient access to safe and affordable water, as part of the Accelerating Access Coalition's Nudge Learning Lab.

Combating the Coronavirus Without Clean Water

Frequent hand-washing is supposed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. But what should governments do when water scarcity impacts their communities

Aqueduct Tools Identify and Evaluate Water Risks Around the World

WRI's Aqueduct tools include the Water Risk Atlas, Country Rankings, Aqueduct Food, and Aqueduct Floods

Predicting Hotspots of Water-Related Conflict

The Water, Peace and Security (WPS) partnership pioneers the development of innovative tools and services that help identify and address water-related security risks. These tools and services can link hydrological, social, economic and political factors to pinpoint changes in short-term water availability and their potential impacts on society.

Tackling City Inequality Essential for Fighting COVID-19

To curb the spread of the coronavirus, cities must address inequality. City preparedness and resilience are key to withstanding this and future crises.

Help Us Map Public Water Risk

WRI and Pacific Institute are collecting facility-level public water management data from companies with robust manufacturing profiles. If your company would like to participate in this project, please fill out our questionnaire by March 15. Also available in Spanish.

It Could Only Cost 1% of GDP to Solve Global Water Crises

WRI research shows how countries can achieve water security for all by 2030. The economic benefits of investing in sustainable water management far outweigh the costs.

Number of People Affected by Floods to Double by 2030

Climate change and population growth will expose more people to dangerous flooding. Investing in flood protection measures can reduce risk while helping economies rebound after COVID-19.

Domestic Water Use Grew 600% Over the Past 50 Years

While agriculture and industry withdraw the majority of the world’s freshwater (70% and 19%, respectively), demand from households is also rising precipitously.

Nature-Based Flood Mitigation Can Help Mississippi Farmers

Flood risk in the Mississippi River Basin is expected to threaten $4.2 billion in GDP annually by 2030, an $831 million increase from 2010. Levees alone won't fix the problem — and may even worsen it.

How to Solve Water-Related Conflicts

Water-related conflict and political instability are on the rise across the globe. While no single solution will eliminate water insecurity, a wide variety of solutions are available.

Calculating Water Use Embedded in Electricity

This paper provides the first comprehensive approach that guides organizations on calculating upstream water withdrawals and consumption associated with purchased electricity. We provide international country-level and U.S. subnational-level water use factors detailing grid average water withdrawal and consumption.

Investors Bought the First Certified Green Bond to Protect Forests for Drinking Water

With WRI’s support, Central Arkansas Water posted a $30.6 million green bond last October, the first ever to acquire and protect forests specifically to secure clean drinking water.

Forests Near or Far Can Protect Water for Cities

Forests everywhere alter the movement, quality and availability of water. The world’s urban leaders need to account for the role of forests in securing clean water for residents and the agricultural lands that cities rely on.

Use Forests to Fend Off Water and Energy Crisis in Colombia

In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, Colombia is facing simultaneous water and energy crises. Nature-based solutions that utilize forests can be key in creating sustainable water and energy systems.