A study by the a Sri Lankan-based International Water Management Institute said that nearly 1.4 billion people or a quarter of the world's population lives in regions that would face severe water shortages in the first quarter of the new millennium. The study on the water supply and demand of 118 countries during the period 1990 to 2025 said that of particular concern was the problem of declining water tables in the semi-arid regions of Asia and West Asia.