Visit Global Water Partnership International website

Water Scarcity

Mediterranean, a Water Scarce Region


The Mediterranean is a water scarce region and ranks among the most arid regions in the world, with limited renewable water resources. At the same time, it is a region rich in unique and fragile ecosystems.

Water resources in the Mediterranean are overall scarce, limited and unequally distributed in both space and time. In particular in the South precipitation tends to be very low. Droughts are becoming a frequent phenomenon varying in severity, duration and scale, while arid regions bear high risks of desertification.

The countries to the South receive a mere 10% of the total annual average rainfall. Southern Mediterranean and Middle East sub-regions have the lowest per capita of water supply in the world. Per capita water availability for the region is 2691 m3/year, accounting for the 37.5% of the global average, compared to 7176 m3/year for the planet.

More than 180 million people in the region are considered “water poor” (disposing less than 1000 m3 of renewable water per capita per year). An additional 60 million people face water stress (they dispose less than 500 m3 of renewable water per capita per year). Some countries of the South and East have run up a 160% renewable water resources deficit.


(Photo:Madeleine Theochari)

Posted: 2010-11-17

Subscribe to this page - RSS

Choose language


Your email address and name are required, and if you wish you may give the details of your organisation and country to allow us to identify information of interest for you for future newsletters.

You may of course unsubscribe at any time.