Among the major issues global leaders will discuss at the upcoming annual World Economic Forum in Davos are the risks associated with the tightening of water, food and energy resources to meet the demands of an increasing global population.

The three interrelated resources impact both global economic growth and geopolitical stability and the Forum’s Global Risks 2011 report warns that “any strategy that focuses on one part of the water-food-energy nexus without considering its interconnections risks serious unintended consequences.”

Three recent news stories illustrate the risks associated with these precious resources.


The situation in Yemen provides a perfect illustration of the growing problem countries face when it comes to fresh water supplies. Yemen’s population is increasing – exploding really. Currently at 23 million, it’s forecast to double in the next 20 years. Thanks to drought and overconsumption, the water is running out and farmers are abandoning their land for the cities.

A nonprofit network and affiliate of the policy think tank Pacific Institute called Circle of Blue offers 19 solutions to the global freshwater crisis here.