High and Dry: Climate Change, Water, and the Economy

A new World Bank report – High and Dry: Climate Change, Water, and the Economy – finds that water scarcity, exacerbated by climate change, could hinder economic growth, spur migration, and spark conflict. However, most countries can neutralise the adverse impacts of water scarcity by taking action to allocate and use water resources more efficiently.

Key findings include that water scarcity would not have the same impact worldwide, and Western Europe and North American economies would likely be spared, according to the World Bank models. But rising economies such as China and India could be hard hit.

Water shortages will have a large impact on the economies of central Asia, Africa, and the Middle East by the middle of the century, taking double digits off their GDP. Good water management, on the other hand, could lead to a six percent increase in global GDP by 2050.

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