According to the UN World Water Development Report 2017, more than 5 billion people could suffer water shortages by 2050 as a result of climate change, increased demand and polluted supplies. The study warns of the possibility of conflict if more action isn’t taken to reduce stress on rivers, lakes, aquifers, wetlands and reservoirs.
Humans use approximately 4,600 cubic km of water every year, of which 70% goes to agriculture. Due to agricultures high water consumption, the report calls for “conservation agriculture”, a practice which focuses on the use of rainwater rather than irrigation, and encourages regular crop rotation. It also promotes various other water saving measure including dry toilets and improved land use. If the savings recommended in the report are put in place they are likely to exceed the projected increase in demand, reducing the danger of water shortage.