Water Crisis

WaterScarceCountries
Countries forecasted to experience water scarcity/stress by 2025 (source: Jury et al., 2007, The emerging global water crisis)

Over the 20th century and into the 21st century, the global population has increased 300%, while water consumption has increased by 600%. 

According to the United Nations, some 48 countries will be experiencing water scarcity and/or stress by 2025.   

As it is today, there are regions of the world that are experiencing significantly water shortages, and this includes both developed and developing nations.

To avert the looming water crisis, certain measures including but not limited to water conservation, reducing pollutants entering the water system, upgrading current infrastructure, and improving fresh water generation technologies need to be taken.

Facts and Figures

(Primary Source: http://thewaterproject.org/water_stats)

  • 783 million people do not have access to clean and safe water. 37% of those people live in Sub-Saharan Africa.  

  • 1 in 9 people worldwide have no access to safe and clean drinking water.

  • 443 million school days are lost each year due to water-related diseases.

  • In developing countries, as much as 80% of illnesses are linked to poor water and sanitation conditions.

  • Half of the world's hospital beds are filled with people suffering from a water-related disease.WaterDroughtMap

  • Girls under the age of 15 are twice as likely as boys to be the family member responsible for fetching water.

  • Over half of the developing world's primary schools do not have access to water and sanitation facilities. Without toilets, girls often drop out at puberty.

  • Over half of the developing world’s primary schools do not have access to water and sanitation facilities. Without toilets, girls often drop out at puberty.

  • Less than one in three people in Sub-Saharan Africa have access to a proper toilet.

  • 84% of the people who do not have access to improved water live in rural areas, where they live principally through subsistence agriculture.

  • The average container for water collection in Africa, the jerry can, weighs over 40 lbs when full.

  • Almost two-thirds, 64% of households rely on women to get the family's water when there is no water source in the home.

  • Globally we use 70% of our water sources for agriculture and irrigation, and only 10% is for domestic uses.

  • Nearly 1 out of every 5 deaths under the age of 5 worldwide is due to a water-related disease.

  • According to the World Health Organization, for every $1 invested in water and sanitation, there is an economic return of between $3 and $34.

  • By investing in clean water alone, young children around the world can gain more than 413 million days of health.

  • The United Nations estimates that Sub-Saharan Africa alone loses 40 billion hours per year collecting water; the same as an entire year's labor in all of the France.

  • Research has shown that for every 10% increase in women's literacy, a country's whole economy can grow by up to 0.3%.

Sources and References

  1. " http://www.fao.org/nr/water/aquastat/water_use/index.stm

  2. WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation. "Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water 2010." Available at www.wssinfo.org/

  3. "Water, Sanitation and Hygiene" Updated May 2010. http://www.unicef.org/media/media_45481.html

  4. United Nations Development Programme. "Human Development Report 2006: Beyond Scarcity: Power, Poverty and the Global Water Crisis." 2006. Available athttp://hdr.undp.org/en/reports/global/hdr2006/

  5. United Nations. Statement by Secretary General Koffi Annan. June 2003. http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2003/sgsm8707.doc.htm

  6. WHO/UNICEF. "Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done." 2009. available at http://www.unicef.org/health/index_51412.html.

  7. World Health Organization. "Costs and benefits of water and sanitation improvements at the global level." http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/wsh0404/en/

  8. United Nations Development Programme. "Human Development Report 2006: Beyond Scarcity: Power, Poverty and the Global Water Crisis." 2006. Available athttp://hdr.undp.org/en/reports/global/hdr2006/

  9. Jerry cans carry approx. 5 gallons of water so if a single gallon of water weighs 8.3 pounds, 5 gallons are 41.5 pounds.

  10. United Nations Development Programme. "Resource Guide on Gender and Climate Change." 2009. Available at http://www.undp.org/climatechange/library_gender.shtml

  11. "Water, Sanitation and Hygiene" Updated May 2010. http://www.unicef.org/media/media_45481.html

  12. World Health Organization. Executive Summary of "Costs and benefits of water and sanitation improvements at the global level."www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/wsh0404summary/en/

  13. Found in WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation. "Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water 2010." Available at www.wssinfo.org/