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United Nations lists world’s top 10 countries lacking access to safe drinking water

Most affected countries located in Middle East

September 19, 2023  By Ground Water Canada

More than a quarter of earth’s population lacks access to safe drinking water while almost half lack adequate water sanitation services, the United Nations reports.

Water scarcity is a severe problem affecting millions of people worldwide.

The World Resources Institute’s Aqueduct Water Stress Index ranks 10 countries as being the most vulnerable to water scarcity. Invariably, this is due to similar factors such as climate change, population growth, pollution, and government instability.


The 10 countries facing the highest levels of water scarcity in the world are Qatar, Israel, Lebanon, Iran, Jordan, Libya, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Eritrea and United Arab Emirates.

These countries have extremely low levels of renewable water resources per capita, meaning they cannot replenish their water supplies naturally.  They also have high levels of water consumption, especially for agriculture and industry, which puts pressure on their limited water resources.

Some of these countries such as Lebanon, also face ongoing political and social conflicts that hinder their ability to manage their water resources effectively and equitably.

Currently, Israel is taking some of the most proactive steps to address the country’s water scarcity issues. However, significant challenges remain.

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