In recent years the issue of global water scarcity has attracted increasing attention within academia, non-governmental organizations and the media. The aim of this short note is to ascertain whether there is a systematic relationship between water use and income, and particularly whether an inverted U-shaped relationship exists, as has been found for other resources and pollutants. Using a new data set of water use, evidence of such a relationship is provided, suggesting that water use may benefit from composition and technique effects. While this finding appears optimistic, regional forecasts are made that suggest that levels of water use in developing regions will continue to increase for many years to come. The implications of these findings are discussed.