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

Invest 99L in Western Caribbean a Threat to Develop on Monday

By Dr. Jeff Masters
August 30, 2014

A tropical wave in the Western Caribbean was designated Invest 99L by the National Hurricane Center on Friday night, and is headed west-northwest at about 15 mph. Although conditions are favorable for development, 99L will likely not have enough time to develop before crossing Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on Sunday. Conditions will be even more favorable for development on Monday when the wave will emerge in the Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche.

Death Valley ‘Sliding Rocks’ Mystery Resolved

By Christopher C. Burt
August 29, 2014

An article published in the science journal PLOS ONE on August 27th by scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography has finally put to rest the mystery of the ‘sliding’ rocks of Racetrack Playa in Death Valley.

Live Blog: Tracking Hurricane Arthur as it Approaches North Carolina Coast

By Shaun Tanner
July 3, 2014

This is a live blog set up to provide the latest coverage on Hurricane Arthur as it threatens the North Carolina Coast. Check back often to see what the latest is with Arthur. The most recent updates are at the top.

Tropical Terminology

By Stu Ostro
June 30, 2014

Here is some basic, fundamental terminology related to tropical cyclones. Rather than a comprehensive and/or technical glossary, this represents the essence of the meaning & importance of some key, frequently used terms.

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.