Ever more people need ever more water. Growing populations, changing consumption patterns and increasing industrialisation mean people are using ever more water.
However our supplies of fresh water, like other resources, are finite and under threat. Ground water is being depleted, and pollution is affecting many remaining fresh water supplies.
Climate change is already changing rainwater patterns with catastrophic consequences, and shrinking the glaciers which many millions of people rely on to provide water throughout the year.
Many communities, especially in the poorest regions, are already suffering severely from shortage of water. In some regions of Africa and Asia people have to walk more than six kilometres to collect safe drinking water.
Large scale water extraction and distribution generally depend on energy resources which are themselves limited. Even the power generated by hydroelectric schemes is endangered by reduction and variability in rainfall.
Read more about water.