Water Scarcity

Fresh water is more than just a resource, it is the source of all life. But in many arid regions of the world, water supplies are under pressure from climate change, and outdated rules and infrastructure are making the problem worse. What does the world need to know about water consumption, and how can societies build better systems for a dryer future?

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  • Gabrielle Sierra
    Director, Podcasting

Asher Ross - Supervising Producer

Markus Zakaria - Audio Producer and Sound Designer

Rafaela Siewert - Associate Podcast Producer

Episode Guests
  • Sandra Postel
    Founder and Director, Global Water Policy Project
  • Mark Giordano
    Professor of Geography and Cinco Hermanos Chair in Environment and International Affairs, Georgetown University

Show Notes

Climate-induced water scarcity is already being felt across the globe. In addition to the stress this puts on people’s daily lives, the consequences can also contribute to economic shocks and political tensions. In this episode, two expert guests give an introductory course on water use, water scarcity, and the need for flexible water infrastructure.


Dig Deeper 


CFR Resources


Water Stress: A Global Problem That’s Getting Worse,” Claire Felter and Kali Robinson  


Northern Nigeria Faces the Threat of Famine,” John Campbell 


Women’s Water Insecurity Is a Global Health Crisis,”  Victoria Parsons


Navigating Rough Waters: The Limitations of International Watercourse Governance,” Ania Zolyniak


From Sandra Postel


How You Can Help Fix the Global Water Crisis,” Post Carbon Institute


The Water Cycle is Broken But We Can Fix It,” Pew Charitable Trusts


Read More


Egypt Has a Water Problem—and no, it’s not only the GERD,” Atlantic Council


The shocking numbers behind the Lake Mead drought crisis,” CNN 


Biden Administration to Restore Clean-Water Protections Ended by Trump,” New York Times


What Is a Water War?,” Diplomat


Why 2021’s heat waves are so brutal” Verge


Watch and Listen


Climate Change Is Threatening The U.S. West’s Water Supply,” NPR 

Solutions to the Global Water Crisis,”  World Resources Institute

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