More than half of the world’s population is facing a severe water shortage, according to a new study that shows around 4 billion people suffer severe water scarcity for at least one month out of the year.
“Freshwater scarcity is a major risk to the global economy, affecting four billion people directly,” one of the study’s authors, Arjen Y. Hoekstra, told The New York Times.
The world’s population is currently around 7.4 billion people.
The water shortage is far worse than previously thought, Hoekstra and his colleague, Mesfin M. Mekonnen, each of the University of Twente in the Netherlands, discovered. Earlier studies estimated that between 1.7 and 3.1 billion people faced extreme water shortages.