MAP OF THE DAY: The World Water Crisis

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Today is World Water Day. This marks another year when water gets less attention than oil, and the coming crisis becomes more severe.

Through the Middle East and parts of America and Asia, water is a physical scarcity.

In Africa and other parts of the southern hemisphere, water is an economic scarcity, which means an adequate supply is not economically feasible.

Ban Ki-moon warns: “A shortage of water resources could spell increased conflicts in the future. Population growth will make the problem worse. So will climate change. As the global economy grows, so will its thirst. Many more conflicts lie just over the horizon.”

Most of the world's major river basins face maximum stress levels

The world's most populated areas depend on irrigation for agriculture

Americans use the most water per person

In terms of net water consumption -- including water used in agricultural imports -- Europe imports hundreds of billions of cubic metres of water per year

Over 1 million Africans die from diarrhoea each year, due to unclean water

40% of children in much of Africa and India have stunted growth, due to unclean water and malnutrition

Population is surging in places where water pressure is already high

Industry and agriculture leads to huge water withdrawals in America, Europe, India and China

The Arab World is already depleting non-renewable water aquifers

Drought severity has drastically increased over the past 100 years

Source: Global Policy

Will these be the battle lines of the world's next wars?

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