October 5, 2016 Climate changeEnvironmentSociety

Water Scarcity and Drought

Water scarcity and drought know no national boundaries. But tension is rising between states competing over water claims, a precious resource. There is an increasing need to strengthen regional cooperation on water related challenges and solutions, particularly in water scarce and drought affected areas.

Driven both by climate change and poor water management, droughts are becoming more frequent and water scarcity is growing in severity in all regions of the world. The World Economic Forum ranks water security as the top global risk facing societies, economies and businesses over the next ten years.

Water scarcity and drought impact poverty and economic growth, health and well-being, gender inequality, and the environment. Crops fail, livestock die, families face food shortages and famine, people are forced to migrate and conflicts arise. Cities affected by water scarcity, strain the existing infrastructure with increasing costs for citizens, businesses and government.

Industries seriously impaired by water scarcity, such as food, agriculture, energy and mining, need to develop new business models and make changes throughout their whole value chain to reduce risks, create resilience and remain competitive in the future.

Building resilience to water scarcity and drought requires us to collaborate across sectors and stakeholders. Given the size and scale of the challenge, we need global leadership that brings together actors from across a range of sectors and work pro-actively to address water scarcity and drought.

Drought Action, the world’s first public-private action agenda on drought and water scarcity, will be launched at the IWAWorld Water Congress in Brisbane, Australia (10 October 2016).

Visit the website for more information: Drought Action

See the latest film on drought


Water underpins every aspect of human and environmental existence. The severe water challenges facing the world today require an unprecedented global response. IWA members and staff are situated in more than 140 countries worldwide, forming the large... Read full biography