Water Footprint Network partners with WWF to create the "Living Planet Report 2014"

WFN is pleased to have contributed to the tenth edition of WWF's biennial flagship publication, the most encompassing, science-based analysis of the state of earth's natural systems to date. The report finds that for more than 40 years, humanity’s demand on nature has exceeded what our planet can replenish.

Half of the world’s wildlife has disappeared since 1970s
A majority of the world’s river basins face water shortages

We’re proud to be partners in creating this year’s Living Planet Report 2014, the tenth edition of WWF’s biennial flagship publication and the world’s leading, science-based analysis of the state of earth’s natural systems.

By working collaboratively, WWF, Zoological Society of London, Global Footprint Network (GFN) and Water Footprint Network have provided far more accurate and encompassing calculations of wildlife populations and humanity’s footprint in all regions than ever before. The Water Footprint Network provided the measure of humanity’s water footprint, a comprehensive indicator of freshwater resources appropriation for human activities.

The report’s findings are sobering:

• For more than 40 years, humanity’s demand on nature has exceeded what our planet can replenish. This is having a devastating impact on life;
• Whilst population has risen fourfold in the last century, the water footprint has increased sevenfold;
• Water in 200 of the world’s estimated 263 river basins is projected to increase steeply, owing to climate change and increasing water demands. These basins are home to some 2.67 billion people who already experience severe water scarcity for at least one month every year.
• Critical wildlife populations are declining as ecological footprint continues to rise. Vertebrate wildlife populations have declined, on average, by more than half since the 1970s. Those in freshwater ecosystems are declining fastest; numbers have plummeted by 75% since the 1970s – a steeper fall than for marine and terrestrial ecosystems.

Our Science Director, Dr. Ashok Chapagain says the report is a wake-up call for us all. “To lose three quarters of freshwater species within my lifetime is a clear indicator of how far we’re living beyond earth’s natural limits. We all need to find ways to change our daily habits so that we set a new course for a sustainable future.”

“Water shapes our lives. By applying the Water Footprint Assessment in this way, we can get a far clearer insight into global pressures and risks. It helps us identify which goods we produce and consume sustainably – and those which are no longer viable,” he added.

Read the full report here.