The world is walking towards a crisis that it barely recognises. In scale and significance, it dwarfs all the others it is intricately connected with.
This issue is water. As unbelievable as it sounds, we are running out of it and the window we have to solve this issue is narrow and rapidly closing. Over the next 20 years, the world’s thirst for water will grow by 50%. By 2030, water withdrawals will exceed natural renewals by 60%.
This will have a devastating impact on the quality and cost of the water we all need to survive, but in ways that are perhaps not immediately obvious. The water we drink, clean, and cook with represents only the smallest part of the water we use. Far greater is the 90% of the world’s total supply of water that we use to grow the food we eat.
This is because it takes one litre of water to produce one calorie of food. Compared to the 3-4 litres of water we drink, the average daily diet requires up to 6,000 litres of water to grow the crops that find their way on to our plates.