9.2 Pressures on freshwater

Multiple pressures on water resulting from the global drivers of environmental change (see chapter 2) are evident in the rapid deterioration in freshwater quantity and quality in different regions. This is exacerbated in certain regions by pressures from ongoing conflicts, human migration and the cumulative impacts of increasing frequency and severity of droughts, floods and storm surges (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC] 2014). Impacts of natural and human-made disasters are compounded by unsustainable use of freshwater and related ecosystems, which reduces the resilience of the ecosystems (Sheffer et al. 2001; Holling and Gunderson 2002). Recent satellite data show that freshwater bodies are rapidly disappearing in many irrigated agriculture areas due to this combination of climate change and overabstraction (Rodell et al. 2018).