- Globally, water use has increased rapidly in recent years due to population growth and increased per capita consumption. Most of the increase is in the developing countries. 70% of water use is for agriculture, 22% is for industry and 8% for domestic purposes, although there is considerable regional variation.
- Water is not scarce globally, but it often is on a continental or national scale. It is estimated that 31% of the global population will live in a waterscarce country (having less than 1000 m3 of fresh water per person per year) by 2025.
- Water is often unsafe to drink because of pollution. This varies with continent and locally between cities and rural environments.
- Water shortages have been the cause of major international disputes, particularly in the Middle East.