Economic water scarcity

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Economic water scarcity is a type of water scarcity caused by a lack of investment in water or insufficient human capacity to satisfy the demand of water in areas where the population does not have the necessary monetary means to utilise an adequate source of water. Symptoms of economic water scarcity include a lack of infrastructure, with people often having to fetch water from rivers or lakes for domestic and agricultural uses. Large parts of Africa suffer from economic water scarcity; developing water infrastructure there could therefore help to reduce poverty.

The term was first defined in a wide-ranging 2007 study on the use of water in agriculture over the past 50 years [1] of practitioners, researchers and policymakers, overseen by the International Water Management Institute in Sri Lanka, with the aim of finding out if the world had sufficient water resources to produce food for the growing population in the future.

The term physical water scarcity was used by the study to define situations where there is not enough water to meet all demands, including that needed for ecosystems to function effectively.


  1. ^ Molden, D. (Ed).

Paul Guinness (2011), Patterns and Change, Cambridge University Press 2011, ISBN 978-0-521-14733-0