Using this graphic and referring to it is encouraged, and please use it in presentations, web pages, newspapers, blogs and reports.
For any form of publication, please include the link to this page and give the cartographer/designer credit (in this case Philippe Rekacewicz, February 2006)
Smakhtin, Revenga and Doll, 2004.
Uploaded on Thursday 16 Feb 2012
Water Scarcity Index
Philippe Rekacewicz, February 2006
Water overuse is damaging the environment in many major basins. High overuse tends to occur in regions heavily dependent on irrigated agriculture, such as the Indo-Gangetic Plain in south Asia, the North China Plain and the High Plains of North America, and in areas undergoing rapid urbanization and industrial development. An estimated 1.4 billion people now live in river basin areas that are ‘closed’ (in that water use exceeds minimum recharge levels) or near closure. As millions of people in water-stressed areas are discovering, the environment is foreclosing on unsustainable water debts on an extensive scale. For example, farmers near Sana’a in Yemen have deepened their wells by 50 meters over the past 12 years, while the amount of water they can extract has dropped by two-thirds. Some people in water-stressed areas have the economic resources, skills and opportunities to leave their water problem behind. Many millions, such as small farmers, agricultural laborers and pastoralists in poor countries, do not (Human Development Report 2006).