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The world is on the brink of the greatest crisis it has ever faced: a spiraling lack of fresh water. Groundwater is drying up, even as water demands for food production, for energy, and for manufacturing are surging. Water is already emerging as a headline geopolitical issue—and worsening water security will soon have dire consequences in many parts of the global economic system.
Directed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon at the 2008 Davos Annual Meeting, the World Economic Forum assembled the world’s foremost group of public, private, non-governmental-organization and academic experts to examine the water crisis issue from all perspectives. The result of their work is this forecast—a stark, non-technical overview of where we will be by 2025 if we take a business-as-usual approach to (mis)managing our water resources. The findings are shocking. Perhaps equally stunning are the potential solutions and the recommendations that the group presents. All are included in this landmark publication.
Water Security contains compelling commentary from leading decision-makers, past and present. The commentary is supported by analysis from leading academics of how the world economy will be affected if world leaders cannot agree on solutions. The book suggests how business and politics need to manage the energy-food-water-climate axis as leaders negotiate the details of the climate regime that replace Kyoto Protocols.
List of Illustrations
Foreword, Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General
Preface, Richard Samans, Managing Director, World Economic Forum
Preface, Margaret Catley-Carlson, Patron, Global Water Partnership, Canada; Vice-Chair, World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Water Security
Introduction: The Water-Energy-Food-Climate Nexus: A Facts and Figures Overview
Chapter 1: Agriculture
Chapter 2: Energy
Chapter 3: Trade
Chapter 4: National Security
Chapter 5: Cities
Chapter 6: People
Chapter 7: Business
Chapter 8: Finance
Chapter 9: Climate
Chapter 10: New Economic Frameworks for Decision-Making
Chapter 11: Innovative Water Partnerships
Since 2006, the World Economic Forum Water Initiative has raised awareness of the need to manage our future water needs and the challenge to economic and social security if we fail to do so. Its work has helped catalyze several major initiatives in water management around the world.