According to the UN, in 15 years the planet may meet only 60% of the global demand for water


Water insecurity is the highest risk to global society

Water security is one of the most tangible and fastest-growing social, political and economic challenges faced today. In every sector, the demand for water is expected to increase and analysis suggests that the world will face a 40% global shortfall between forecast demand and available supply by 2030.

Source: World Economic Forum Global Risks Report 2014 & 2015

water scarcity

Water is a renewable yet finite resource - there is no substitute. It cannot withstand constant over-extraction and pollution.

On Our Doorstep

Driven by the harsh reality of population growth, rapid urbanization and industrialization coupled with climate change.

On Our Doorstep

Water is the world's single most important resource; life is not possible without it. However, it is becoming scarce. Water scarcity is killing millions of people per year, threatening food security, disrupting energy supply, restricting trade, creating refugees and undermining authority.


Water insecurity is driven by poor water management, population growth, pollution, urbanization, industrialization and is exacerbated by climate change. Today, with the number of people passing the 7 billion mark, it is expected that by 2030, 47% of the world will live in high water-stressed areas.

Source: UN Water

Water Scarcity – conflict – war

Water is not just a human health, economic development or environmental issue, but a peace and security issue. There has been a fourfold increase in violent confrontations over water over the last decade, according to the Pacific Institute.

peace and security

As pressures on scarce water resources increase, the problem is expected to worsen. Many countries in North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia will experience water problems that will increase the risk of instability, state failure and exacerbate regional tensions.

Source: Intelligence Community Assessment on Global Water Security


Prince Hassan warned that a war over water and energy could be bloodier than the Arab Spring.

Source: World Bulletin

southern sudan

Internal conflict in southern Sudan over control of land and resources as well as the widespread use of arms is plaguing the region. There are currently in excess of 350,000 people who have been displaced by inter-ethnic conflict largely due to growing tensions over scarce resources such as water, as well as an increase in cattle raiding.

Water insecurity threatens economic growth

Business as usual water management will put at risk $63 trillion or 1.5 times today's entire global economy.

As reported by Veolia Water
(study conducted by IFPRI and McKinsey, commissioned Veolia)


"Business as usual water management will put at risk $63 trillion or 1.5 times today's entire global economy".

Source: Veolia Water (study conducted by IFPRI and McKinsey, commissioned by Veolia)

Commodity Price Volatility

Increasing water stress will affect food and energy systems around the world. Agriculture, which currently accounts for 70% of global freshwater withdrawals, will be hard hit. Within 15 years, water security risks triggering a global food crisis, with shortfalls of up to 30% in cereal production.

Source: FAO Food Price Index

Energy and manufacturing risks

Energy security will be threatened and the development of low-carbon energy sources may be delayed. Manufacturing will be at risk as water and water-dependent inputs become more expensive and limited. Industrial withdrawals account for 16% of today's global demand, growing to a projected 22% by 2030.

Source: OECD

Higher strain on vulnerable populations

In the near future water shortage coupled with poverty and societal instability could weaken intra-state cohesion. The international community should expect “water refugees” in just over a decade, and there could be two hundred million of them by the midpoint of this century.

Source: World Economic Forum Global Risks Report 2015

A faster spread of infection and disease

There are incredibly more people in the world with a mobile phone than access to water-sanitation services. According to latest estimates, 32 per cent of the world’s population – 2.4 billion people – lacked improved sanitation facilities, and 663 million people lacked access to safe, affordable drinking water.

Source: UNICEF

4,000 deaths a day

Every year more than 3.4 million people die as a result of water related diseases, making it the leading cause of disease and death around the world. Most of the victims are young children - 4,000 children die each day as a result of diseases caused by ingestion of unsafe water.

Source: World Health Organization

Rapid decline in biodiversity

Between 1970 and 2010 freshwater species declined by 76%, more rapidly than marine and terrestrial populations. The main threats to freshwater species are habitat loss and fragmentation, pollution and invasive species.

Source: WWF's Living Planet Report 2014

Rapid decline in biodiversity

Freshwater biodiversity is the over-riding conservation priority during the UN's International Decade for Action -‘Water for Life’ - 2005 to 2015. However if trends in human demands for water remain unaltered and species losses continue at current rates, the opportunity to conserve much of the remaining biodiversity in fresh water will vanish before the 'Water for Life' decade ends in 2015.

Source: Wiley Online Library

8X more companies engaged

2015 vs 2010

on an annual basis2,500 in 2015 vs 302 in 2010

The world's largest companies with a high dependency on water are requested to annually disclose their water management practices to investors and customers.

Please email for one to one support with responding to CDP's water questionnaire.

617 investorS MANAGING $63 trillion in assets

617 investors - $63 trillion in assets

The number of investor signatories using CDP has more than quadrupled since the water program began. These investors are requesting companies to disclose business critical water-related information to inform their decision-making processes and drive strategic investment.

Used by 18 Global organizations with a combined annual procurement spend of $214 billion

18 global purchasers

18 global organizations with a combined annual procurement spend of $214 billion invited their strategic suppliers to respond to CDP's water questionnaire in 2015 to increase their knowledge of indirect water impacts whilst reducing risks and increasing supply chain resilience.

Please email for information on tackling supply chain water issues alongside Dell, L’Oréal and Unilever.

8x increase in number of responders

2015 vs 2010

8X Increase in number of responders

8X increase in number of responders 1,226 in 2015 vs 145 in 2010. This data covers 54 industries in 62 countries.

See the 2015 Global Water Report

6 years of data collected, analysed & shared

6 years of data collected, analysed & shared

Investors, procurement teams, policy makers and other data users are provided with current and historic data that enables them to understand whether:

  • Portfolio companies will remain profitable now and in the future
  • Supply chains remain resilient in the face of water challenges
  • The private sector is aware of, and taking action to, mitigate water risk and reduce their impact on water resources. 

Collaborating to resolve global water issues

CDP works closely with the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS), the CEO Water MandateGRI, Norges Bank, WBCSD, the World Resources Institute (WRI), WWF, and others to support the development of effective standards and help accelerate movement towards corporate water stewardship in order to protect precious water resources.

Please email to find out how your organization can work with CDP.

Contact CDP

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