Ecosystem revolution

Solving global (usable) water crisis

We may think of the world as the blue planet, but a vanishingly small percentage of the world’s water is available to meet our basic needs, including drinking, sanitation, and irrigation. In the face of explosive human population growth, our freshwater supply continues to diminish, endangering a precious and indispensable resource.

Water scarcity becomes more concerning with every passing year. Globally, one in three people lives in a country that faces a nationwide water crisis, but that propor­tion underestimates the number of people who face severe restrictions on water avail­ability, since various countries (including Australia and the United States) have some very dry, heavily populated regions despite not facing a water crisis nationally. More than 95% of humanity (excluding people in countries for which we have no data) lives in countries where access to water per capita is at least somewhat more limited today than it was 20 years ago, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (See the exhibit.)

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