Water Facts

The Global Water Crisis

  1. 663 million people – 1 in 10 – lack access to safe water. 1,2
  2. Twice the population of the United States lives without access to safe water. 1,2
  3. A review of rural water system sustainability in eight countries in Africa, South Asia, and Central America found an average water project failure rate of 20 – 40 percent. 4
  4. Globally, 1/3 of all schools lack access to safe water and adequate sanitation. 1
  5. In low and middle-income countries, 1/3 of all healthcare facilities lack a safe water source. 1
  6. The water crisis is the #1 global risk based on impact to society (as a measure of devastation), as announced by the World Economic Forum in January 2015. 5

References

  1. World Health Organization and UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme(JMP – 2015)
  2. United States Census Bureau Estimates(2015)
  3. International Telecommunication Union(ITU – 2015)
  4. Supporting Rural Water Supply. Moving towards a Service Delivery Approach(2011)
  5. World Economic Forum Global Risks Report(2015)

The Role of Women & Children

  1. Women and girls often spend up to 6 hours each day collecting water. 5
  2. In Africa and Asia, women and children walk an average of 3.7 miles (~6km) a day just to collect water.6,7
  3. Reductions in time spent collecting water have been found to increase school attendance. 8,9
  4. 160 million children suffer from stunting and chronic malnutrition linked to water and sanitation. 1
  5. Diarrhea is the 3rd leading cause of child death, a majority of which are water-related. 1
  6. Involving women can make water projects 6 to 7 times more effective. 5

References

  1. World Health Organization and UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme(JMP – 2015)
  2. World Health Organization – Global costs and benefits of drinking-water supply and sanitation interventions to reach the MDG target and universal coverage(2012)
  3. WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme(JMP – 2010)
  4. Domestos WaterAid WSSCC – Why we can’t wait. A report on sanitation and hygiene for women and girls(2015)
  5. UN-Water factsheet on water and gender, World Water Day(2013)
  6. World Water Assessment Programme, UNESCO – Water for Women: Every woman counts. Every second counts(2015)
  7. UN, OHCHR, UN-HABITAT, WHO – The Right to Water, Fact Sheet No. 35(2010)
  8. Nauges, Celine and Jon Strand – Water Hauling and Girls’ School Attendance: Some New Evidence from Ghana(2011)
  9. Koolwal, Gayatri and Dominique van de Walle – Access to Water, Women’s Work and Child Outcomes(2010)

The Economic Importance of Clean Water

  1. $260 billion is lost globally each year due to lack of safe water and sanitation. 1
  2. Universal access to safe water and sanitation would result in $32 billion in economic benefits each year from reductions in health care costs and increased productivity due to reduced illnesses. 1
  3. Time spent gathering water around the world translates to $24 billion in lost economic benefits each year. 1
  4. Annual aid for water and sanitation amounts to only US $8 billion–far short of the $1 trillion needed to solve this crisis and maintain it long term. 1,2
  5. Access to credit plays a significant role in triggering household sanitation investments, increasing health and providing families the dignity of a toilet. 3
  6. For every $1 invested in water and sanitation, there is an economic return of between $3 – $34. 4

References

  1. World Health Organization – Global costs and benefits of drinking-water supply and sanitation interventions to reach the MDG target and universal coverage(2012)
  2. OECD – Aid to Water Supply and Sanitation (2015)
  3. Water and Sanitation Program – Financing On-Site Sanitation for the Poor, A Six County Comparative Review and Analysis(2010)
  4. WHO – Costs and benefits of water and sanitation improvements at the global level(2004)

Resource Links

Look for more facts in the following resource links.