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Water Scarcity: A Looming Economic Threat for China & India

Water Scarcity

Water scarcity is rapidly emerging as a global economic threat, with China and India being particularly vulnerable. The impact of water shortages will be felt across various sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing, and the transition to renewable energy. The scarcity of water must be viewed as a pervasive issue that transcends the entire economy, emphasizing the need for immediate action to mitigate risks and prevent severe economic shocks.

Water Scarcity in Large Asian Economies

As industrialization and urbanization rates soar in Asia, the demand for water has skyrocketed. The region’s rapid economic growth, driven by both traditional and emerging industries, such as manufacturing semiconductor chips and clean energy, further intensifies the need for significant water resources. Unfortunately, water scarcity is projected to outstrip supply by 40% to 50% by 2030, posing a severe challenge to large Asian economies.

India's Water Stress

India, the world’s most populous nation, faces acute water stress. Despite having 18% of the global population, it possesses only 4% of the world’s water resources. The country heavily relies on monsoon seasons to meet water demands, but climate change has exacerbated floods and droughts, aggravating the water shortage crisis.

China's Water Crisis

China, the world’s second-largest economy, also grapples with a significant water crisis. A staggering 80% to 90% of the country’s groundwater is unfit for consumption, and half of its aquifers are too polluted for industrial and agricultural use. Furthermore, 50% of its river water is unsuitable for drinking, with half of that posing risks to agriculture. Water scarcity threatens China’s coal-dependent power system, as coal power plants require ample water for effective operation.

Implications for Other Countries

While India and China face the brunt of water scarcity, other regions, including those in the West, are not immune to the risks associated with this crisis. Europe, for example, has experienced worsening water scarcity due to the deepening climate emergency, impacting vital sectors like agriculture and tourism.


Act now to save our future. Water scarcity threatens China, India, and the world. It’s time for comprehensive action. Innovate, conserve, and cooperate. Embrace sustainable practices. Our economies, food security, and environment hang in the balance. Let’s safeguard our most precious resource, water, for generations to come. Together, we can make a difference and secure a thriving future. Act today for a water-secure tomorrow!

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