Long term experience shows that the per capita consumption of fresh water in industrialized countries lies around 1 500 to 1 700 cubic meter (m3) per year. The main consumer of water, available as rain or by means of artificial irrigation, is agriculture. The rest is used as drinking water, and consumptions like cooking, hygiene, cleaning and other household activities, public services like hospitals, restaurants, and industrial activities. Taking also into account the nourishment and living habits and local or regional availability of water, these few fundamental and simple relationships will allow to predict where and when on this planet water will be short or is already scarce. With the help of importation/exportation figures and the knowledge on the average atmospheric precipitation and demographic development, Israel and the North African states from Morocco to Egypt are good models to exemplify how missing water is compensated by importing food. Extrapolating them to the year 2025 makes clear that for many countries of the economic »South«, water shortage and nutrient import and export will become one of the essential driving or refraining economical force. Today, seven countries compensate to a different extent the water shortage of a growing number of other countries. The most important exporters are to be found in the industrialized North. The number of exporters will hardly change in the coming years, but the number of importing countries will increase. These countries lie almost exclusively in the economic »South«. The overriding challenge for these countries is to keep an economic independence, despite the growing food imports. The demand for the industrialized »North« is to support and help to keep this independence.