With each passing day, the precarious state of the global water crisis becomes clearer. Escalating pollution. Record-setting droughts. Shrinking groundwater aquifers. As the situation worsens, more people, ecosystems and economies will pay the price. Recently released data from the World Resources Institute estimates one-third of global gross domestic product will likely be exposed to high water stress by 2050.

The warning came as nearly 15,000 business leaders, policymakers, advocates and researchers converged last month at World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden, the leading annual water conference and the first global water convening since the historic United Nations 2023 Water Conference in March.

With urgency comes renewed energy. Riding the momentum of that event, discussions moved beyond defining the problem to inspiring action. And how that action will transform how communities, governments and the private sector think about, value, and manage water.