Ranking the World’s Most Water-Stressed Countries in 2040

World Resources Institute / by Andrew Maddocks, Robert Samuel Young and Paul Reig
http://bit.ly/1KSkezS (rankings)
http://bit.ly/1LA7vHQ (analysis)

[Washington Post] One of the biggest concerns about climate change is how it will affect global water supplies. Rising temperatures and changes in future precipitation patterns are expected to cause a spike in droughts around the world. Couple these factors with rising global populations and access to usable water is likely to be a major problem for many parts of the world in the coming decades.

A new analysis from the World Resources Institute (WRI) shows which regions are most vulnerable to water stress — in other words, the places where demand for water will be highest and supply lowest. The rankings, published on Wednesday, are based on climate models, global population projections and other socioeconomic predictions.

The analysis includes projections for the years 2020, 2030 and 2040 under three different scenarios…

Altogether, 33 countries, 14 of which lie in the Middle East or North Africa, are expected to face “extremely high” water risk by 2040. They include heavily populated areas where millions of people will be at risk, such as Algeria, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Greece and Spain.

Some of the 33 nations are already fairly stressed now. Others, including Botswana, Namibia and Chile,  are expected to experience dramatic increases in their water problems by 2040.

Interestingly, the projections for water stress around the world are similar no matter which trajectory is applied.] In 2040, under all three scenarios, projections for the top eight most water-stressed nations remain the same: Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, San Marino (a small state contained within Italy), Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Palestine and Israel…

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