Some 75% of our planet is covered with water, but less than 1% is usable, and even this is depleting quickly. Why? Water demand is up approximately 40% over the past 40 years and is estimated to increase another 25% by 2050, yet supply has more than halved since 1970. Water supply is declining in both quality and quantity. Some 80% of global sewage is dumped into the sea without adequate treatment and microplastics have been found in 83% of tap water. Well over half (57%) of global freshwater aquifers are beyond the tipping point, and even poor infrastructure limits supply as one-third of all fresh water running through pipes globally is lost to leakage. For every +1°C increase in global temperatures, there is a 20% drop in renewable water sources. To put this in context, the average global temperature has increased by at least 1.1°C since 1880, and July 2023 was the hottest month on record.
Related: Texas Farmers Are Worried One of the State’s Most Precious Water Resources is Running Dry. You Should Be, Too and Arizona Is Running Out of Cheap Water. Investors Saw It Coming and America Is Using Up Its Groundwater Like There’s No Tomorrow