The International Union for Conservation of Nature says two-thirds of the world's population will face water shortages by 2025.
Policy makers at the World Water Forum must understand that investing in good water governance is critical for a sustainable water future, the group said.
"Climate change will be felt first and foremost through water, whether it be drought, floods, storms, ice melting or sea-level rise," Mark Smith, head of IUCN's Water Program, said Thursday in a release.
Smith said the world needs systems for governing water "based on a balance of policy, good water law and participatory institutions."
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]