Water is the integral fabric in the quilt of life. The Earth’s ecosystems, societies, and individuals need it. Without it, food security, human health, energy supplies, and industrial production would be unobtainable. Plants, wildlife, and their ecosystems need water. Shortages and poor management can lead to loss of biodiversity and agricultural production, increase in malnutrition and disease, reduced economic growth, social instability and conflict.
Most of the cities where large numbers of people live without taps are cities with plentiful water supplies. And in cities with water shortages, there are rarely any restrictions on water use for the rich. Water for household use represents only about 8% to 10% of total water consumption. Industry and agriculture consume the majority.