Thirty-seven countries face “extremely high” levels of water stress, using more than 80 percent of their available water supply every year, according to the World Resources Institute’s water stress rankings.
This means that more than 80 percent of the water available to agricultural, domestic and industrial users is withdrawn annually, which can hurt businesses, farms and communities, according to a WRI blog. As an example, the blog cites recent droughts, which threatened GDP growth in the US.
Created by the WRI’s Aqueduct team, the rankings — WRI says they’re the first-ever global water stress rankings — put US and China at numbers 70 and 72, respectively. Singapore, often considered one of the world’s best water managers, is at the top of the list.
The Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas, developed by WRI and companies including GE, Shell, Dow, United Technologies and DuPont, is a publicly available tool with up-to-date information on global water risks. Earlier this year WRI aligned the atlas with the CDP’s 2013 Water Disclosure Questionnaire in a bid to improve business’ measurement and reporting of exposure to water-related risks.