Despite widespread belief that Estonia has sufficient reserves of fresh water, the country could face severe water stress by as soon as 2040, an international study suggests.
Using an ensemble of climate models and socioeconomic scenarios, the World Resources Institute (WRI) scored and ranked future water stress — a measure of competition and depletion of surface water — in 167 countries. What they found may surprise some: Estonia could face a significant increase in water stress by 2040, putting pressure on its businesses, farms and community.
In addition to the 33 countries facing extremely high water stress (click here for full list), the analysis, hailed as the first-of-its-kind by the WRI, warns that Chile, Estonia, Namibia and Botswana could also feel the thirst by 2040.
If business carries on as usual, Estonia will be 36th in the global water stress rankings in 25 years time - an extreme 46 position rise compared to 2010. Of the EU countries, only Spain and Greece will be even worse off.
The most water stressed countries in the world in 2040 will be Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, San Marino, Singapore and the United Arab Amirates.
Nearly half of 33 countries expected to face extremely high water stress are in the Middle East, where surface water is limited and demand is high.
Editor: M. Oll