IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability

Freshwater resources and their management

By mid-century, annual average river runoff and water availability are projected to increase by 10-40% at high latitudes and in some wet tropical areas, and decrease by 10-30% over some dry regions at mid-latitudes and in the dry tropics, some of which are presently water-stressed areas. In some places and in particular seasons, changes differ from these annual figures. ** D[10] [3.4]

Drought-affected areas will likely increase in extent. Heavy precipitation events, which are very likely to increase in frequency, will augment flood risk. ** N [Working Group I Fourth Assessment Table SPM-2, Working Group II Fourth Assessment 3.4]

In the course of the century, water supplies stored in glaciers and snow cover are projected to decline, reducing water availability in regions supplied by meltwater from major mountain ranges, where more than one-sixth of the world population currently lives. ** N [3.4]

Adaptation procedures and risk management practices for the water sector are being developed in some countries and regions that have recognised projected hydrological changes with related uncertainties. *** N [3.6]

  1. ^  In Section C, the following conventions are used:
    Relationship to the Third Assessment: 
    Further development of a conclusion in the Third Assessment 
    New conclusion, not in the Third Assessment 
    Level of confidence in the whole statement:  
    *** Very high confidence 
    ** High confidence 
    Medium confidence