Ref: GS-Environmental-access-to-water


Access to water

The United Nations anticipates a global shortfall in water by 2030. Since all human activities are closely connected to the availability and quality of water, this shortfall may have potentially crippling effects on both commerce and populations.

Water conflict is not new: Historical records show that humans have been fighting over water resources and marine access for almost 5,000 years. However, the world is increasingly “thirsty” because of growing populations and booming industrial activity. And as things stand, 2.1 billion people (almost a third of humanity) do not have access to safe drinking water, according to the UN.

Did you know?

Almost half of the world’s fresh water is contained in rivers that cross the borders of two or more countries. Roughly two-thirds of these transboundary rivers lack a cooperative management framework, according to research by the water institute SIWI.

IMD Speaks

Will tomorrow’s “fight for water” be as economically important as today’s “fight for oil”? “As companies need both a robust license to operate and an enabling environment, assuring adequate access to clean and plentiful supplies of water is a long-term business challenge that goes beyond the responsibility and scope of any single company.” Dr. Aileen Ionescu-Somers

Aileen Ionescu-Somers. “Quenching the thirst of business.” Tomorrow’s Challenges , 2011. (accessed 15 June 2018) “Cooperation over shared waters.” SIWI. accessed 15 June 2018 “Water.” United Nations. (accessed 15 June 2018)


In a rapidly changing global environment, how do we keep track and make sense of the different events and trends around us?  What are the missed opportunities we could have known about?

At IMD we believe these are crucial questions that business leaders need to be asking themselves.  “IMD Global Signals™” help you explore the various trends (signals) happening in the world. The signals are regularly updated to reflect the changing times.