Home
bbc.co.uk

Overview

Overview

The world is short of fresh water. Today 34 countries amounting to 10% of the population face chronic water shortages. Fresh water consumption is strongly correlated with economic growth, with studies showing water consumption increases at twice the rate of GDP growth.

97% of the world’s water is seawater which is not drinkable. Of the remaining 3% over 2.5% is frozen, locked up in polar ice and glaciers. Thus humanity relies on just less than 0.5% for all fresh water needs. The limit of using this 0.5% of the world’s fresh water available in rivers and lakes is being approached.

The best long term solution is therefore to tap the 97% of the water held in the world’s oceans together with effective treatment of contaminated water.

Overall, agriculture uses 70% of the world's fresh water. In the Middle East and North Africa up to 90% of available water is used in agriculture. Traditional agriculture is very inefficient in its use of water. Demand for year round supply of fresh vegetables in Europe has caused major expansion of greenhouses in the Mediterranean region but further growth in agricultural production especially in Southern Spain and along the North African coast is contrained by limited water available.

LAT Water delivering sustainable water solutions for the 21st century