A carousel irrigation system at Wadi Rum, in Ma'an, Jordan, paints verdant circles in the desert.
Humanity is the dominant force altering the flows of rivers and streams around the world, according to the boundaries study.
"An estimated 25 percent of the world's river basins run dry before reaching the oceans due to use of freshwater resources in the basins," the authors wrote. That's a growing concern in water-stressed regions -- for communities and the businesses that serve them.
Read more energy & sustainability news.