Water crises top risk for next decade

Published: Jan 15, 2016

The Global Risks Report 2016, published by World Economic Forum ahead of the annual Davos meeting, puts water crises at the top of global risks for the coming decade. “It shows that water challenges concern all parts of the global society," says SIWI Executive Director Torgny Holmgren.

Based on the Global Risks Perception Survey, the annual Global Risks Report synthesizes the perceptions of 750 experts and decision-makers globally. It was published in the run-up to the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Swiss town Davos starting on 20 January.

In 2015, water crises ranked top risk in terms of impact. For 2016, water crises dropped to the third highest risk in terms of impact. However, the 2016 report states that water crises constitute the biggest risk to the world during the next ten years.

Following water crises, the other risks of highest concern for the next decade are Failure of climate change mitigation and adaption, Extreme weather events, Food crises and Profound social instability.

“If we look at the main risks in the ten-year scenario, we can see that they are all connected. Climate change causes extreme weather events, most resulting in too little or too much water. Unpredictable water availability also has dire consequences for energy and food production, which in turn exacerbates already difficult living conditions for many people around the world,” says Torgny Holmgren.

“What is obvious to us working for water every day, is that good water management is the key to mitigating most, if not all, of these risks. We are pleased to see that more CEOs and other decision-makers are starting to see it too”.

Read the entire Global Risks report 2016 here.