Earlier this year, the World Economic Forum met and identified the ten global risks of highest concern in 2014. These in order of priority are as follows:

  1. Fiscal crises in key economies
  2. Structurally high unemployment/underemployment
  3. WATER CRISES
  4. Severe income disparity
  5. Failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation
  6. Greater incidence of extreme weather events
  7. Global governance failure
  8. Food Crises
  9. Failure of major financial mechanism/institution
  10. Profound political/social instability

It is important to note that world leaders identified not only economic concerns but environmental woes as some of the most critical global risks to be addressed. Water crises ranked #3 followed by a related concern over climate change ranked #5, extreme weather #6 and food crises #8. Environmental risks scored high on the list resulting from the survey of 700 representatives of the World Economic Forum's member and partner companies.

This week's international celebration of World Water Day will focus more attention on the importance of preserving and protecting freshwater supplies around the world. International "World Water Day" is formally recognized on March 22nd.