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

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

AUTHORS: World Bank

YEAR: 2016

ABSTRACT: The World Bank has published a far-reaching report into the future impact of climate change on water supplies and the global economy. The report finds that the impacts of climate change will be channeled primarily throught the water cycle, with consequences that could be large and uneven across the globe. Growing populations, rising incomes, and expanding cities will converge upon a world where the demand for water rises exponentially, while supply becomes more erratic and uncertain. If current water management policies continue, areas which currently enjoy very little water stress could see their economic growth slow considerably. Regions such as the Middle East and the Sahel, which already contend with significant water shortages, could see a double figure drop in GDP.

However, the report does point to ways in which concerted efforts from national policy makers could forestall this scenario, and notes that careful planning around water management and conservation could offset any negative economic effects from climate change.