Water Facts

Water Facts

  • The United Nations and global CEOs have identified water quality and water shortages as the world's most pressing crisis, surpassing global warming and related issues of carbon footprints and alternative energy sources. Experts agree that water shortages and declining water quality have the largest and most immediate impact on world health, and pose the greatest threat to world economic growth and productivity.

  • Economic development, closely tied to urbanization and rising living standards, is the primary driver of water demand, ahead of population growth and climate change. It also increases the demand for better, more potable water.

  • The World Health Organization estimates that urban dwellers require 5 to 8 times as much water as rural dwellers because “basic” water needs expand from drinking to include water to flush toilets, take showers, support infrastructure buildings (hospitals, schools, restaurants).

  • 50% of the world’s population live in cities today. It is forecasted that 70 % will be urban in 2050. This macro trend will require solutions for both drinking water and sewage disposal.

  • 400 million new toilets are expected to be installed in emerging markets in the next three years.

  • 884 million people, one in every eight or 12.5% of the world population do not have access to a safe water source.

  • The percentage of surface water that is potable is expected to decline. Only 38% of residential and commercial wastewater is treated and much of that to low standards.

  • "People can live without food for a month, but most can survive only a few days without a drink" (The Ripple Effect).

  • In the developing world as a whole, around 90% of sewage is discharged untreated into rivers, polluting them and affecting plant and aquatic life. (UN)

  • Approximately 443 million school days each year are missed due to water-related illnesses.

  • In developing nations, approximately 90 percent of sewage systems are being emptied into rivers, lakes, and nearby streams that communities use for drinking water.