Water policy, technology, and projects
Middle East Most Water Stressed Region
in the World
Twelve out of the 17 most water-stressed countries in the world are in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), according to the 2019 World Resources Institute Global Water Risk Atlas.
The region is intensely hot and dry with a low water supply to begin with, and is facing growing water demands and complications from climate change that are expected to cause huge economic losses -- as much as 6-14% of MENA GDP by 2050 according to the World Bank. These countries consume 80% of their available water annually and are facing "day zero" conditions, meaning residents' taps are close to running completely dry.
Qatar is the most water-stressed country, followed by Israel, Lebanon, Iran and Jordan. Libya, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Eritrea and the UAE round out the top ten.
While population growth, socioeconomic development, and urbanization increasingly threaten water supplies, there are areas where the MENA region has significant opportunity to boost water security, such as increasing levels of water reuse since 82% of the region's wastewater is not reused.
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