Share

World Water Day 2014: The World's Thirstiest Places

Robin Kemp
Published: March 22, 2014

Places in Desperate Need of Water

(Wikimedia/Elooas)

For more than 20 years, countries across the globe have observed World Water Day on March 22 to draw attention to the precious nature of the world's water supply.

This year's edition is no different. Through World Water Day 2014, the United Nations hopes to highlight the precarious relationship between water supply and energy sources.

Water consumption by energy providers is just one of the many contributing factors to water scarcity. Regardless of the source, the UN estimates that by 2030 parts of the planet could be tapped out.

According to World Meteorological Organization secretary-general and UN water chair Michel Jarraud, the globe has a long way to go to address lingering water and energy concerns.

“Already today 768 million people lack access to improved water sources, 2.5 billion people have no improved sanitation and 1.3 billion people cannot access electricity," said Jarraud. "These issues need urgent attention – both now and in the post-2015 development discussions. The situation is unacceptable. It is often the same people who lack access to water and sanitation who also lack access to energy.”

One way to monitor areas particularly affected by water is through the World Resources Institute’s Aqueduct project, which ranks nations according to baseline water stress. Baseline water stress measures how much water a country uses every year relative to the amount of renewable water available for that given year. This year, 16 nations tied for the top spot as the world's most water stressed nation. Twelve of those nations are surrounded by water—island nations whose resources are stretched to the limit by tourism, industry and agriculture.

Click through for a look at the 16 places with the highest water demand.


Featured Blogs

Huge Temperature Swings to Sock the Northeast Ahead of Early-Week Storm

By Dr. Jeff Masters
February 12, 2016

From frigid, near-record lows this weekend to mild, soggy highs on Tuesday, New York and New England are about to experience one of the most dramatic chill-down-to-warm-up sequences in memory. The brief but sharp cold will extend across the eastern U.S., but the most dramatic temperature swings are expected from Washington, D.C., northward. Some locations in New York and New England will rocket from temperatures near or below 0°F on Saturday night--with much lower wind chills--to readings near or above 50°F by Tuesday. The exact track of an early-week winter storm--impossible to pin down at this point--will dictate how a potpourri of heavy rain, sleet, freezing rain, and snow evolve across the eastern U.S.

California: What a Difference a Month Makes

By Christopher C. Burt
January 8, 2016

One month ago I posted a blog about the precipitation deficits that were endemic in California at that time (December 9, 2015) but just prior to the beginning of a series of storms that rolled in. As was expected, the storm door opened and remains open. Here is where California now stands as of January 9th, 2016 precipitation-wise. Looking a lot better!

An extraordinary meteorological event; was one of its results a 1000-year flood?

By Stu Ostro
October 5, 2015

The confluence of meteorological ingredients the first weekend in October 2015 resulted in an extraordinary weather event with severe impacts. Was one of them a 1000-year flood?

Why the Arrest of a Science-Loving 14-year-old Matters

By Shaun Tanner
September 16, 2015

By now, many of you have heard or read about the arrest of Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old high school student from Irving, Texas. Ahmed was arrested because school officials called the police after he showed one of his teachers his homemade clock. Mistaken for a bomb, Ahmed was taken into custody, interrogated, shamed, suspended (still on suspension today, Wednesday), and reprimanded. All of this after it has been found that the "device" he brought to school was indeed, a homemade clock.

2013-14 - An Interesting Winter From A to Z

By Tom Niziol
May 15, 2014

It was a very interesting winter across a good part of the nation from the Rockies through the Plains to the Northeast. Let's break down the most significant winter storms on a month by month basis.

What the 5th IPCC Assessment Doesn't Include

By Angela Fritz
September 27, 2013

Melting permafrost has the potential to release an additional 1.5 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and could increase our global average temperature by 1.5°F in addition to our day-to-day human emissions. However, this effect is not included in the IPCC report issued Friday morning, which means the estimates of how Earth's climate will change are likely on the conservative side.