Projected Water Stress

Global indicators of change in water supply, water demand, water stress, and seasonal variability, projected for the coming decades under scenarios of climate and economic growth

  • Source: WRI
  • Last update: -

With the goal of producing information for decadal-scale planning, adaptation, and investment, the Aqueduct Water Stress Projections model potential changes in future demand and supply of water over the next 3 decades. Global indicators were developed for water demand (withdrawal and consumptive use), water supply, water stress (the ratio of water withdrawal to supply), and intra-annual (seasonal) variability for the periods centered on 2020, 2030, and 2040 for each of 2 climate scenarios, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5, and 2 shared socioeconomic pathways, SSP2 and SSP3. Estimates were derived from general circulation models (GCMs) from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) and mixed-effects regression models based on projected socioeconomic variables from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis’s Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSP) database. Resource Watch shows only a subset of the data set. For access to the full data set and additional information, see the Learn More link.

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Formal name

Aqueduct Water Stress Projections: Decadal Projections of Water Supply and Demand Using CMIP5 GCMs


These global indicators are best suited for comparative analyses across large geographies to identify regions or assets deserving of closer attention and are not appropriate for catchment or site-specific analyses. Large-scale climate and socioeconomic scenarios also have varying degrees of inaccuracies for different regions.

Suggested citation

Luck, M., M. Landis, F. Gassert. 2015. “Aqueduct Water Stress Projections: Decadal projections of water supply and demand using CMIP5 GCMs.” Washington, DC: World Resources Institute. Accessed through Resource Watch, (date).


World Resources Institute (WRI)

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