Ten nations are at "extreme risk" of losing access to clean, fresh water, according to the latest Water Security Risk Index, released by Malplecroft last week.
Those ten nations are: Somalia (1), Mauritania (2), Sudan (3), Niger (4), Iraq (5), Uzbekistan (6), Pakistan (7), Egypt (8), Turkmenistan (9) and Syria (10).
To calculate the water risk index, Maplecroft measured these four key areas surrounding the issue:
access to improved drinking water and sanitation,
the availability of renewable water and the reliance on external supplies,
the relationship between available water and supply demands,
and the water dependency of each country's economy.
It's worth noting that among the countries at extreme risk, Pakistan, Egypt and Uzbekistan already are experiencing internal and cross-border tensions due to limited water availability, and as I have posted about before, the business community is becoming increasingly aware that in the future, water scarcity is going to become a root cause of conflict and supply chain disruption. In short, virtually every industry in the world will need to adjust strategic planning, production practices and business models because of increasing competition for this essential resource.
"Climate change and increasing demands from population growth will cause a worsening of water stress over the coming decades," says Dr. Anna Moss, environmental analyst at Maplecroft. "Conflict is likely to spread and intensify as a result of a lack of water security and for the countries that are heavily reliant upon external water supplies the issue of water may become critical. It is essential for business to monitor the risks in their supply chains and operations where they might face current and future exposures."
In case you were wondering, the countries with the most stable supplies of clean water are: Iceland (165), Norway (164) and New Zealand (163). Other low risk countries include the UK (144) and Brazil (148).