Global freshwater scarcity is really in the news lately: As economy booms, China faces major water shortage Global poll reveals clean water shortage as most urgent issue Experts meet over looming water crisis in Africa Fourteen countries in Africa are already experiencing water stress, another 11 are expected to join them by 2025 at which time nearly 50 per cent of the continent?s projected population of 1.45 billion will face water scarcity, according to the UN. The epicenter of the world's freshwater shortage is the Middle East. [image=http://whyfiles.org/131fresh_water/images/world_water.gif] Unfortunately, the parts of the world in the map's red band are naturally arid while also experiencing some of the highest population growth rates. By 2020, these countries will be facing a horrific water crisis. Many of these countries are energy exporters and will have to divert much of their energy toward water desalination. The Middle East is home to the world's most irresponsible population policies or lack thereof. If you think it is a hotbed of discontent now, you haven't really seen anything yet. Open war between neighboring countries over water rights is just around the corner.