A report by the International Food Policy Institute and International Water Management Institute examined possible scenarios that could affect the future of water supplies, including a "business as usual scenario" that projects water supplies will decrease and consumption increase by 2025 in many countries, based on current patterns. Scientists deemed it the most likely scenario to occur.
The report is titled "Averting an Impending Crisis."
Researchers predict that demand for water used in agricultural irrigation will increase in poorer countries, such as those in sub-Saharan Africa and in Latin America.
Currently, the western United States, northern China and parts of India are experiencing water shortages. The United States, however, is better at managing the problem than the other two countries because more sophisticated irrigation systems are in place.
Researchers hope China and India are able to manage their problems because they affect the outlook for water supplies.
International tension over water scarcity is likely to increase with an impending crisis. The report concludes that countries need stronger incentives for people to use water more efficiently and suggested that nations should charge more for the resource and invest more in agricultural research to improve water systems.