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Published by source: 27 August 2015
Expected next release: 29 August 2019
Suggested citation: Luo, T., R. Young, and P. Reig. 2015. "Aqueduct projected water stress rankings." Technical note. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute, August 215. Available online at http://www.wri.org/publication/aqueduct-projected-water-stress-country-rankings.
Supplemental Materials: Country Scores
WRI projected future country-level water stress for 2020, 2030, and 2040 under business-as-usual (BAU), optimistic, and pessimistic scenarios. Each tab lists country projected water stress scores for each scenario and year, weighted by overall water withdrawals. Scores weighted by individual sectors (agricultural, domestic, and industrial) are provided as well.
These global projections are best suited to making comparisons among countries for the same year and among scenarios and decades for the same region. More detailed and localized data or scenarios can better estimate potential outcomes for specific regions and expose large sub-national variations that are subsumed under countrywide water-stress values. The country indicators face persistent limitations in attempting to simplify complex information, such as spatial and temporal variations, into a single number. They also do not account for the governance and investment structure of the water sector in different countries.
It is important to note the inherent uncertainty in estimating any future conditions, particularly those associated with climate change, future population and economic trends, and water demand. Additionally, care should be taken when examining the change rates of a country’s projected stress levels between one year and another, because the risk-score thresholds are not linear. For more information on these limitations, see the technical note.
Projections are described in further detail in:
Luck, M., M. Landis, and F. Gassert, “Aqueduct Water Stress Projections: Decadal Projections of Water Supply and Demand Using CMIP5 GCMs,” Technical note (Washington, DC: World Resources Institute, April 2015), http://www.wri.org/publication/aqueduct-water-stress-projections.
withdrawals / available flow
Water stress measures total annual water withdrawals (municipal, industrial, and agricultural) expressed as a percentage of the total annual available blue water. Higher values indicate more competition among users.
[0-1) Low (<10%)
[1-2) Low to medium (10-20%)
[2-3) Medium to high (20-40%)
[3-4) High (40-80%)
[4-5] Extremely high (>80%)