I’ve read in the news that a majority of earth’s population might run out of drinking water. As with many of these kind of predictions it’s difficult to judge the urgency and correctness of it without spending a huge amount of time on it.

From the Bonn Declaration from the "Water in the Anthropocene" conference:

A conference of 500 leading water scientists from around the world today issued a stark warning that, without major reforms, "in the short span of one or two generations, the majority of the 9 billion people on Earth will be living under the handicap of severe pressure on fresh water, an absolutely essential natural resource for which there is no substitute. This handicap will be self-inflicted and is, we believe, entirely avoidable."

I’m wondering if the situation is urgent enough so that it is necessary for everyone to be frugal with water or whether this can only be solved by regulatory means.

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    Please provide some references to places where this claim is being made, so we can see for ourselves what they mean. The answer is going to be highly regional-specific, depending on dam sizes, climate and drought conditions, local farming, etc. The existence of large-scale desalination plants demonstrates local areas have this problem. – Oddthinking Jun 5 '13 at 1:33
  • I seriously doubt the people of Germany and Austria are in any way concerned about the lack of water due to insufficient rain... – jwenting Jun 5 '13 at 5:34
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    Oddthinking: I’ve added a reference. – Lenar Hoyt Jun 5 '13 at 16:58
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    Note: The Bonn Declaration does not call for individuals to be more frugal. It calls for research, training, monitoring and regulatory changes. – Oddthinking Jun 11 '13 at 2:46
  • Note: people have been claiming impending disaster due to running out of water/food/raw materials/oil/whatever for thousands of years. If they'd been right the earth would have become uninhabitable around the time of Christ if not earlier. – jwenting Jun 11 '13 at 5:44

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