Our Challenge

Ample, clean water is vital for human health, industry, agriculture and energy production. Yet the world’s freshwater systems face formidable threats due to unsustainable management, ecosystem degradation and climate change.

As many as 4 billion people are already exposed to water stress conditions for at least one month a year. The natural ecosystems that provide clean water and alleviate floods and other risks — such as forests, mangroves and wetlands — are degrading and disappearing at alarming rates. Demand for water is projected to increase by up to 30% by 2050, while water-related conflicts and political instability are on the rise. And climate change is worsening the problem, intensifying floods and droughts, shifting precipitation patterns and fueling sea level rise.


of global GDP could provide water security for all by 2030


of the global population lives in countries facing extremely high water stress


Flooding caused more than $1 trillion in losses globally since 1980


of the water humans use goes to food production

Our Approach

WRI works to transform the way the world produces food, uses energy and designs its cities to build a water-secure future. We collaborate with governments, communities and companies to tackle threats facing the world’s freshwater system — such as inadequate water management, ecosystem degradation and climate change — to ensure ample clean water for all.

We produce innovative data and analysis tools to help decision-makers understand current and future water risks. We identify ways for policymakers to build water resilience, prevent water-related conflicts and invest in nature-based solutions like forest and watershed restoration. We guide companies on water stewardship initiatives and science-based target setting, which can reduce financial risks and improve collective water security. And we work with cities to expand water access and address the root problems of water insecurity to create more resilient communities.

Aqueduct identifies and maps water risks like floods, droughts and stress. We work to advance best practices in water-resource management and ensure sustainable growth in a water-constrained world. 

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  • Aerial view of Dar es Salaam after flooding.

    Urban Water Resilience Initiative

    Building sustainable, adaptive, resilient urban water systems.

    Part of Cities
  • Wastewater filteration plant.

    Corporate Water Stewardship

    Advancing sustainable water management in the private sector by empowering companies to reduce business risks and driving innovation in water-related data, tools and strategies. 

    Part of Freshwater
  • people-line-fresh-water

    Water, Peace & Security Partnership

    The Water, Peace and Security (WPS) Partnership was founded in 2018 to pioneer the development of innovative tools that identify and address water-related security risks. 

    Part of Water Security
  • Ariel shot of a river in Brazil


    Using cutting-edge data to identify and evaluate water risks around the world 

    Part of Freshwater
Sunset, water and trees from Kiel Canal Bridge.

Stay on top of the insights, research, and data helping companies, cities, and countries understand water risks and invest in solutions for a water-secure future.


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