According to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, in a 2000 report entitled We the Peoples, "Global freshwater consumption rose sixfold between 1900 and 1995-more than twice the rate of population growth. About one-third of the world's population already lives in countries considered to be 'water stressed'—that is, where consumption exceeds 10% of total supply. If present trends continue, two out of every three people on Earth will live in that condition by 2025."
Although Earth is the "water planet," little of its water is available for its six billion inhabitants. Nearly 97.5% is in the oceans, and most of the 2.5% that is freshwater is in permanent ice or snow. Only 0.8% of the earth's water is freshwater available to humankind. Of this amount, agriculture uses 75% and industrial activities another 20%, leaving less than 5% for human consumption.
People can get by without food for more than a month and can work around energy shortages, but without water death comes in just three days. It is vital for life; so conflicts over water supplies likely will be an increasing cause of future military actions.