Sustainable Growth: Taking a Deep Dive into Water

Rising competition for water resources could pose major challenges for economic growth. Water needs are increasing rapidly in developing countries, such as China and India which account for 40% of global population and a third of global water use.

Inadequate and poor quality water could impede growth especially given competing water demands from agriculture, energy and industry.

A Global Markets Institute report published May 8, 2013 highlights issues such as the critical role of water in energy production—particularly in shale gas extraction, where inadequate water supplies could constrain development; and increasing “virtual water” trade to meet changing dietary demands. Many water-scarce countries have adopted strategies to mitigate water risk, including desalination and wastewater treatment. The private sector increasingly recognizes the impact of water risks on their businesses.