Our Challenge

The world runs on water. Ample, clean water is vital for human health, industry, agriculture and energy production. Yet the world’s water systems face formidable threats due to unsustainable management and climate change.

As many as 4 billion people are exposed to water stress conditions for at least one month a year — half of these people, 25% of the world’s population, experience extremely high-water stress. Demand for water is projected to increase by up to 30% by 2050, driven by population growth, socioeconomic development, and changing consumption patterns. Water-related conflicts and political instability are on the rise. And climate change is worsening the problem, intensifying floods and droughts, shifting precipitation patterns and fueling sea level rise. Already, 90% of natural disasters from 1995-2015 were water- or heat-related.


of global GDP could provide water security for all by 2030


of the global population lives in countries facing extremely high water stress


Flooding caused more than $1 trillion in losses globally since 1980


of the water humans use goes to food production

Our Approach

WRI works with countries, cities and companies to build a water-secure future.

We produce innovative data and analysis tools to help decision-makers understand current and future water risks. We identify ways for policymakers to build water resilience, prevent water-related conflicts and invest in nature-based solutions. We guide companies on water stewardship initiatives that can reduce financial risk and improve collective water security. And we work with cities to expand water access and address the root problems of water insecurity to create more resilient communities.

Aqueduct identifies and maps water risks like floods, droughts and stress. We work to advance best practices in water-resource management and ensure sustainable growth in a water-constrained world. 

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  • Cities4Forests supports cities around the globe to recognize their interdependence with the world’s forests and use their political, economic and cultural power to protect and manage those forests for human well-being.


    A city-led movement to protect forests.

    Part of Water
  • Aerial view of Dar es Salaam after flooding.

    Urban Water Resilience Initiative

    Building sustainable, adaptive, resilient urban water systems.

    Part of Water
  • Wastewater filteration plant.

    Corporate Water Stewardship

    Advancing sustainable water management in the private sector by empowering companies to reduce business risks and driving innovation in water-related data, tools and strategies. 

    Part of Water
  • people-line-fresh-water

    Water, Peace & Security Partnership

    The Water, Peace and Security (WPS) Partnership was founded in 2018 to pioneer the development of innovative tools that identify and address water-related security risks. 

    Part of Water Security
Sunset, water and trees from Kiel Canal Bridge.

Stay on top of the insights, research, and data helping companies, cities, and countries understand water risks and invest in solutions for a water-secure future.


Media Contacts