River basins that cross international borders provide water to 40% of the global population but cooperation in water management is non-existent in more than 65% of them and in the rest it is “often ineffective”.
These findings, reported in the Blue Peace Index developed by the The Economist Intelligence Unit, come as more than half the world’s population are heading for water-scarcity by 2050 according to the index. It calculated that 45% of the world’s global GDP and 40% of its grain production at risk could be at risk in 30 years.
“There is a worrying absence of collaboration structures to govern these critical resources. A lack of co-operation can have considerable economic, social and environmental consequences,” the index authors say. It adds: “The gains of transboundary water co-operation vary from reduced flooding and drought and protected biodiversity through to enhanced energy security and optimisation of investments.”