A quarter of the planet’s global population is affected by extreme levels of water crisis across 17 countries.
Despite the world consisting of 70% water, these 17 regions are almost running out of one of the most precious resources. The World Resources Institute (WRI) revealed a troubling report about conditions in areas deemed to be “extremely high water-stressed”. Water stress is defined by the institute as the measure of the levels of competition over water resources, as per The Guardian.
The 17 regions affected by the once “unthinkable” water-crisis have 80% of their total water supply consumed every year according to WRI’s report. As conditions worsen, the institute warns that this will trigger the risk of conflict in the affected countries that are mostly in North Africa and the Middle East.
Speaking to CNN, the director of WRI’s Aqueduct water risk project said that the increased level of demand versus supply “puts huge pressure on available water resources and poses a threat to agricultural, industrial and domestic water users that rely on it.”
So what are the countries that made it to the ranking? Topping the list and taking the title of most water-stressed country is Qatar. Israel comes second followed by Lebanon, Iran and Jordan. Suffering the worst water shortages in Africa are Libya and Eritrea.
“Twelve out of the 17, extremely high water-stressed countries are in the Middle East and North Africa,” Reig told CNN. “The region is is naturally dry and arid. But the situation there is getting worse. There’s a number of reports and research pointing to the fact that water stress can exacerbate both migration and conflict, and that water is currently a source of growing tension and violence in the Middle East,” Reig said.