Freshwater scarcity

Freshwater scarcity

Water scarcity affects more than 40 per cent of the global population and is projected to rise. Over 1.7 billion people are currently living in river basins where water use exceeds recharge.

Delta areas throughout the world are increasingly faced by pressing shortages of fresh water. The over-exploitation of fresh groundwater stocks, climate change and sea-level rise are leading to problems with land subsidence, drought in nature areas and salinization. So there are more than enough reasons to establish reserves for dealing with freshwater shortages in the future. Deltares is making a contribution by supplying smart solutions that will safeguard adequate, top-quality, freshwater supplies for agriculture and drinking water that will be available at the right time.

For example, we worked for the World Bank to develop a tool for non-experts that shows where natural disasters such as drought and water shortages may arise and then advises how best to deal with these risks. Using our knowledge of system processes, we explore the risk of violent conflicts linked to the availability of water in the hope that leaders and security services throughout the world can use our results to devise remedies. By mapping out the relationship between Gross Domestic Product and groundwater stress in Northern Africa and the Middle East (MENA region), we identify the areas, and the size of the groups, that are hardest hit by freshwater shortages.