Drink or use water? Read this. (Please).

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I’ve written about clean water and sanitation issues before, but tomorrow is “WaterWednesday” on twitter and I wanted to post these quick facts and photos (SOURCE: water.org). I hope you’ll share this with friends and families to help raise awareness about this global crisis.

  • 884 million people lack access to safe water supplies; approximately one in eight people.
  • 3.575 million people die each year from water-related disease.
  • The water and sanitation crisis claims more lives through disease than any war claims through guns.
  • Poor people living in the slums often pay 5-10 times more per liter of water than wealthy people living in the same city.
  • An American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than a typical person in a developing country slum uses in a whole day.

Photo: water.org

  • Diarrhea remains in the second leading cause of death among children under five globally. Nearly one in five child deaths – about 1.5 million each year – is due to diarrhea. It kills more young children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined.
  • Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a water-related disease.
  • Diarrheoa is more prevalent in the developing world due, in large part, to the lack of safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as poorer overall health and nutritional status.
  • Photo: water.org

Photo: water.org

Photo: water.org

photo: water.org

  • In just one day, more than 200 million hours of women’s time is consumed for the most basic of human needs — collecting water for domestic use.
  • This lost productivity is greater than the combined number of hours worked in a week by employees at Wal*Mart, United Parcel Service, McDonald’s, IBM, Target, and Kroger, according to Gary White, co-founder of Water.org.
  • Millions of women and children spend several hours a day collecting water from distant, often polluted sources.
  • A study by the International Water and Sanitation Centre (IRC) of community water and sanitation projects in 88 communities found that projects designed and run with the full participation of women are more sustainable and effective than those that do not. This supports an earlier World Bank study that found that women’s participation was strongly associated with water and sanitation project effectiveness.

Photo: water.org

Photo: water.org

  • Less than 1% of the world’s fresh water (or about 0.007% of all water on earth) is readily accessible for direct human use.
  • More than 80% of sewage in developing countries is discharged untreated, polluting rivers, lakes and coastal areas.
  • The UN estimates that by 2025, forty-eight nations, with combined population of 2.8 billion, will face freshwater “stress” or “scarcity”.
  • Agriculture is the largest consumer of freshwater by far: about 70% of all freshwater withdrawals go to irrigated agriculture.
  • At home the average American uses between 100 and 175 gallons of water a day. That is less than 25 years ago, but it does not include the amount of water used to feed and clothe us.
  • Conserving water helps not only to preserve irreplaceable natural resources, but also to reduce the strain on urban waste water management systems. Waste water is costly to treat, and requires continuous investment to ensure that the water we return to our waterways is as clean as possible.

Please help spread the word by liking and/or re-posting on facebook! If you’re on twitter, tweet the link with one of the facts.

Cheers!

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7 Responses

  1. A really great website Lynn…you put a lot of work into it and it’s really GREAT!

  2. It’s definitely time to do what can be done to conserve this precious resource and to make clean, healthy water available to those people in areas where it’s not available now. Your article accurately defines the problem and highlights some of the solutions…Well Done!

  3. Hi.. I’m reallly worried about the fate of the world, not just nature buir mainly communities. And I have a problem understanding how does it affect (in a possitive or negative way) the shower I take in a little town in Holland, the possibility of having water for other communities (Africa or elsewhere)?

    • The shower statistic is an example of water use in the hopes that readers will take away the bigger picture and be mindful of daily usage. “The UN estimates that by 2025, forty-eight nations, with combined population of 2.8 billion, will face freshwater “stress” or “scarcity”.”

      “Conserving water helps not only to preserve irreplaceable natural resources, but also to reduce the strain on urban waste water management systems. Waste water is costly to treat, and requires continuous investment to ensure that the water we return to our waterways is as clean as possible.”

      Thanks for taking the time to read and leave a comment!

  4. […] For more startling facts about the global water crisis, click here. […]

  5. […] decaying infrastructure? Bigger picture—figure out how to ensure clean air and water for survival here on earth. Let’s not forget about food—safe food, preferably. And […]

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