Disturbing Water Facts

Disturbing Water Facts

  • Water is irreplaceable, at any price.

  • Nearly 97% of the world's water is saltwater or otherwise undrinkable. Another 2% is held in ice caps and glaciers. That leaves just one percent for all of humanity's needs - agricultural, residential, manufacturing, and community needs.
  • In developing countries, a child dies every 15 seconds from water-related diseases.
  • Thames Water in the UK has admitted that the water wasted through leakage could fill 368 Olympic-size pools daily.
  • Children in poor countries do not have enough water to wash often and suffer from skin diseases such as scabies, or eye infections such as trachoma, the world's leading cause of preventable blindness. In extreme cases, children may not wash for up to half a year, especially those who are too young to walk the long distance to bathe at the nearest water source, but too old to be carried there.
  • Leaving the tap open when you brush your teeth can waste up to 10 litres of water.
  • A baby born in Sub-Saharan Africa is five hundred times more likely to die from diarrhoea related disease, than a baby in the developed world.
  • Women and female children spend more than 200 million hours each day collecting water from distant, often polluted sources. According to National Geographic Society at least 1 billion people must walk three hours or more to obtain drinking water.
Disturbing Water Facts

  • In the world's poorest countries - over 5000 children die each day. Poor water and sanitation contribute to almost 90% of these deaths.
  • Every year, an estimated 1.9 million children under five die from diarrhoea diseases. A youngster dies every eight seconds from water-borne diseases. This year, about 2.2 million children will die of dehydration caused by diarrhoea, 80% of them in the first two years of their life.
  • Worldwide, 1.1 billion people live without clean water and 2.6 billion people live without toilets every day of their lives.
  • Approximately 60 to 70% of the rural population in the developing world have neither access to a safe and convenient source of water, nor a satisfactory means of waste disposal.
  • If urgent action is not taken, 135 million people could die of water-related diseases by the year 2020.
  • People suffering from preventable diseases, caused by unsafe water and inadequate sanitation, occupy half the hospital beds in the developing world.
  • Pollution from agriculture, industry and domestic wastewater is making water resources -both surface water and groundwater- increasingly scarce and decreasingly poor in quality.
  • Groundwater can stay polluted for several thousand years.
  • According to the UN, 20% of the world's population in 30 countries face water shortages. This number is expected to rise to 30% of the world's population in 50 countries in 2025.
Disturbing Water Facts

  • By the year 2025, the population of the world is estimated to increase from 6.4 billion to 8.4 billion. At that time, 3.4 billion people could live in countries where water is scarce.
  • Just one flush of a toilet in the West uses more water than most Africans have to perform an entire day's washing, cleaning, cooking and drinking.
  • Current evidence shows that 1.7 million deaths could also be avoided each year by providing access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene. The single most effective intervention is hand washing with soap, which could cut diarrhoea deaths in half.
  • Industrial discharge returned without treatment has high organic content, leading to rapid growth of algae, bacteria and slime, oxygen-depleted water, and thermal pollution.
  • The average American individual uses 100 to 176 gallons of water at home each day, while the average African family uses about 5 gallons of water each day.
  • When poor people are asked what would most improve their lives, water and sanitation are invariably their highest priorities.
  • Information courtesy of the World Health Organisation, UNESCO Water Portal, the Fresh Water society and WaterAid.
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to replace the opinion of a qualified health care professional
and is not intended as medical advice.
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