The Colorado River:
• Provides water for 30 million people
• Only 10% of its historic flow now reaches Mexico
• Virtually no water reaches the Sea of Cortez
The Nile River
• Longest river in the world
• Over 360 million people live in its catchment basin
• Most years, virtually no water reaches the Mediterranean
• A new mega-dam under construction in Ethiopia could
reduce downstream flow to Egypt and ignite regional conflict
The Danube River:
• Europe’s second longest river
• Over 80 million people live in its basin
• A 2011 drought lowered water levels so much
that boat traffic became impossible in many stretches
The Jordan River:
• The baptism site of Jesus Christ
• Over 7 million people live in its basin
(Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon)
• Only 5% of its original flow reaches the Dead Sea
The Amu Darya River:
• Largest river in Central Asia
• Over 43 million people live in its basin
• Runs dry over 100km away from its natural outlet
in the Aral Sea
The Indus River:
• Primary source of freshwater for nearly 200 million people
• Supplies 90% of the water for agriculture in Pakistan
• No longer reaches the Arabian Sea
The Yellow River
• Second longest river in China
• 189 million people live in the Yellow River basin
• Due to extensive diversion of water mostly for agriculture,
the Yellow River frequently runs dry before reaching the sea
The Murray River:
• Australia’s longest River
• 1/3 of the country’s food supply is grown in its basin
• In 2009 the river was left with less than 18% of its normal
water capacity due to several years of severe drought
Not only does climate change cause warming and melting of glaciers, it can also reduce the amount of rain and snow falling into a nearby river's watershed. A rapidly melting glacier can initially increase the amount of water flowing into a nearby river, but as some glaciers reduce in size or even disappear, eventually the amount of its melted water flowing into rivers will be dramatically reduced.
Over 2.5 billion people draw water from glacially fed rivers.
Agriculture wastes 60% or 1,500 trillion litres, of the 2,500 trillion litres of water it uses each year.
The main causes of wasteful and unsustainable water use on farms are:
• Leaky irrigation systems
• Wasteful field application methods
• Cultivation of thirsty crops not suited to the environment
The world’s population increases by approximately 200,000 people every day, equivalent to two of the world’s largest football stadiums at maximum capacity.
Water use for energy production accounts for about 15% of total water withdrawals, second only to agriculture. The total amount of water needed for energy production is expected to double by 2035.
The UN estimates that human water demand is expected to increase by 55% by 2050.
The average North American uses over 350 liters of water per person, per day. That is about twice the amount the average European uses.
Livestock production is responsible for about 15% of our greenhouse gas emissions. That’s more than the entire transportation sector! This includes both the loss of trees through deforestation to create pastures as well as methane emissions from cow belching and farting. Beef and dairy production is expected to double between the years 2000 and 2050.