Global Freshwater Demand Will Exceed Supply by 2030

Global Freshwater Demand Will Exceed Supply by 2030

Global freshwater demand is growing and by the end of this decade will far exceed supply. The demand is driven by agriculture, electricity production, industrial processes like mining and manufacturing of consumer goods.

Global freshwater demand is rising and will outpace supply by 2030 if governments don’t make significant changes, according to a new report from the Global Commission on the Economics of Water

Turning the Tide: A Call to Collective Action, scrutinizes the global water system and calls the coming situation an imminent water crisis, as demand is expected to exceed supply by 40 percent. The demand is driven by agricultural and industrial withdrawals for industries like mining, manufacturing and thermoelectric power.

The authors issue a call to action for governments to manage water as a global common good because of shared boundaries and the impacts of overuse and pollution. The US is not stranger to national boundary issues with Mexico and the Colorado and Rio Grande Rivers to the south and Canada and the Columbia River and the Great Lakes to the north.

In an interview with the Guardian, one of the report’s authors, Johan Rockstrom, co-chair of the Global Commission on the Economics of Water said, “The scientific evidence is that we have a water crisis. We are misusing water, polluting water, and changing the whole global hydrological cycle, through what we are doing to the climate.” Commission co-chair Mariana Mazzucato added, “We need a much more proactive, and ambitious, common good approach. We have to put justice and equity at the centre of this, it’s not just a technological or finance problem.”

We couldn’t agree more. Water Footprint education is a great place to help students of all ages understand how they use water in all the many ways throughout their lives. It is an excellent way to create a constituency that both values water and has a strong conservation ethic.