More than a quarter of the world’s population live in countries with excess water stress, defined as the ratio of total freshwater withdrawn to total renewable freshwater resources above a threshold of 25 per cent. Northern Africa and Western Asia experience extremely high water stress levels above 60 per cent, which implies a strong probability of future water scarcity. In 2012, 65 per cent of the 130 countries that responded to a survey on integrated water resources management reported that management plans were in place at the national level, however the effectiveness of these plans varied widely.
Official Development Assistance (ODA) for the water sector has been rising steadily, but has remained relatively constant as a proportion of total ODA disbursements, at approximately 5 per cent since 2005. In 2015, ODA disbursements in the water sector totaled about $8.6 billion, which represents an increase of 67 per cent in real terms since 2005. In order to achieve the 2030 targets, more investment into clean water and sanitation is needed.