Increase in water scarcity by climate change, can trigger and intensify the effects of desertification through long-term impacts on land and soil quality, soil structure, organic matter content and ultimately on soil moisture levels. The direct physical effects of land degradation include the drying-up of freshwater resources, an increased frequency of drought, and a greater occurrence of flooding due to inadequate drainage or poor irrigaiton practices.

If this trend endures, it would bring a sharp decline in soil nutrients, accelerating the loss of vegetation cover. This leads in turn to further land and water degradation, such as pollution of surface and groundwater, siltation and salinization.