Aude Martin, ETF Investment Specialist, Legal & General Investment Management
Ever-greater demand is combining with increasingly uneven and unreliable supply to make water one of the world’s most precious resources. On the demand side, the planet’s swelling population is not the only factor; increasing global wealth is also changing patterns of water consumption as billions more people expect to enjoy regular showers, to eat more water-intensive crops, to water their gardens, to wear fabrics that draw heavily on water for their creation, and to use electricity whose generation depends on water for cooling.
On the supply side, climate change and shifting weather patterns are making the distribution of rain less predictable, as evidenced by the increase in both devastating floods and droughts around the world. At the same time, migration and demographic shifts are moving people away from major water sources: 1.8 billion people are expected to be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world population could be under water stress conditions, by 2025