According to the United Nations, over one billion people lack access to fresh, drinkable water, and nearly 3 billion people have no access to water at least one month per year.
However, the problem is spreading.
The UN estimates that global demand for water will exceed supply by 2030. This means more cities will be in the same boat as Cape Town, South Africa, which has essentially run out of water.
The UN says the following seven cities are likely to run out of water by 2030:
1. Sao Paulo. Home to 21.5 million people, a 2015 drought sent water reservoirs below 4 percent of capacity. Many doubt the city can survive another severe drought.
2. Beijing. China has 20 percent of the world’s population, but only 7 percent of the world’s fresh water. Water reserves are declining, and in 2015, it was determined that about half of the city’s water is so polluted, it can no longer be used for drinking, agricultural, even industrial use.
3. Moscow. While it has ample access to water, pollution problems make as much as 60 percent of this water unfit for drinking.
4. Cairo. The Nile provides nearly all of Egypt’s water, but is increasingly polluted and more fresh water is used for agriculture. The UN believes Cairo may run out of water in seven years.
5. Mexico City. Today, most of the city’s 21 million people only have access to water a few hours per week. Water is imported, but as much as 40 percent of that water is lost due to Mexico City’s leaking water infrastructure.
6. London. London has ample rainfall, but most of its drinking water comes from rivers that can’t keep up with demand. It is expected that London will have supply problems by 2025 and severe supply problems by 2040.
“And don’t think US cities are immune,” says Klaus Reichardt, CEO, and founder of Waterless Co., manufacturers of no-water urinals.
“Miami’s Biscayne Aquifer, the city’s main source of fresh water, is becoming filled with undrinkable sea water. This puts Miami on the list too.”