Water Scarcity Facts and Figures

Understanding personal impact on water use and conservation efforts can be incredibly difficult. While you may not believe that turning off the sink while brushing your teeth has any impact, a brief glimpse at water scarcity around the world will bring your use into sharp perspective. We should never take water for granted–it is only going to get more difficult to obtain. Below, we have listed several facts and figures, published by the United Nations, about worldwide water scarcity.


  • Around 700 million people in 43 countries suffer from water scarcity. Around 1.2 billion people (nearly one-fifth of the world’s population) live in areas of scarcity.
  • Two thirds of the world’s population currently live in areas that experience water scarcity for at least one month each year.
  • By 2025, 1.8 billion people are expected to be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity. Two thirds of the world population could be under water stress conditions.
  • With existing climate change projections, by 2030, water scarcity in some arid and semi-arid places will displace between 24 and 700 million people.
  • Around one third of the world’s biggest groundwater systems are already in distress.
  • Nearly half the global population are already living in potential water-scarce areas for at least one month each year. This number is expected to increase to around 5.7 billion in 2050. Around 73% of the affected people live in Asia.


Though there is not yet a global water shortage, countries, regions, and individuals must urgently tackle the critical problems presented by water stress. Failure to prepare for the impending water crisis will result in millions of displacements and widespread, water-related deaths.