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Facts about the water crisis and inadequate sanitation facilities

Access to clean water is critical for long-term economic development, human health and social welfare and environmental sustainability in every society. Unfortunately, more than a billion people do not have access to adequate supplies of clean water, and approximately 1.7 billion people do not have adequate sanitation. In some developing countries, the poor pay the most for water and suffer the greatest both from impaired health and from lost economic opportunities. Contaminated water causes millions of preventable deaths every year, especially among children. It has been reported in Bolivia, 1 out of 5 children never reach the age of 5 due to consuming contaminated water. Water scarcity and water pollution increasingly jeopardize the lives of millions of people in developing countries.

"Our World in Need"

43% of water-related deaths are due to diarrhea.

84% of water-related deaths are in children ages 0 - 14.

98% of water-related deaths occur in the developing world.

884 million people, lack access to safe water supplies, approximately one in eight people around the world.

The water and sanitation crisis claims more lives through disease than any war claims through guns.

At any given time, half of the world's hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from a water-related disease.

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.

An average person taking a five-minute shower uses more water than the typical person living in a developing country slum uses in a whole day.

More than two thirds of people without an improved water source live on less than $1 a day.

Poor people living in the slums often pay 5-10 times more per liter of water than wealthy people living in the same city.

Without food a person can live for weeks, but without water you can expect to live only a few days.

The daily requirement for sanitation, bathing, and cooking needs, as well as for assuring survival, is about 13.2 gallons per person.



Only 62% of the world's population has access to improved sanitation - defined as a sanitation facility that ensures hygienic separation of human excreta from human contact; 1.2 billion people who have no facilities at all.

The majority of the illness in the world is caused by fecal matter which usually ends up in community water supplies.

At any one time, more than half of the poor in the developing world are ill from causes related to hygiene, sanitation and water supply.

88% of cases of diarrhea worldwide are attributable to unsafe water, inadequate sanitation or insufficient hygiene.


"Impact on Children and Women"

Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a water-related disease.

Children in poor environments often carry 1,000 parasitic worms in their bodies at any time.1.4 million children die as a result of diarrhea each year.

90% of all deaths caused by diarrheal diseases are children under 5 years of age in most developing countries.Millions of women and children spend several hours a day collecting water from distant, often polluted sources.


"Interesting and Useful Water Facts"

Roughly 70 percent of an adult's body is made up of water.

At birth, water accounts for approximately 80 percent of an infant's body weight.

A healthy person can drink about three gallons (48 cups) of water per day.

Drinking too much water too quickly can lead to water intoxication. Water intoxication occurs when water dilutes the sodium level in the bloodstream and causes an imbalance of water in the brain.

While the daily recommended amount of water is eight cups per day, not all of this water must be consumed in the liquid form. Nearly every food or drink item provides some water to the body.

Water dissolves more substances than any other liquid. Wherever it travels, water carries chemicals, minerals, and nutrients with it.

Somewhere between 70 and 75 percent of the earth's surface is covered with water and less than 1% is drinkable.

Of all the water on the earth, humans can used only about three tenths of a percent of this water. Such usable water is found in underground water aquifers, rivers, and freshwater lakes.

By the time a person feels thirsty, his or her body has lost over 1 percent of its total water amount.

The weight a person loses directly after intense physical activity is weight from water, not fat.


"Water...It Does A Body Good"

Water is absolutely essential to the human body's survival. A person can live for about a month without food, but only about a week without water.

Water helps to maintain healthy body weight by increasing metabolism and regulating appetite.

Water leads to increased energy levels. The most common cause of daytime fatigue is actually mild dehydration.

Drinking adequate amounts of water can decrease the risk of certain types of cancers, including colon cancer, bladder cancer, and breast cancer.

For a majority of sufferers, drinking water can significantly reduce joint and/or back pain.

Water leads to overall greater health by flushing out wastes and bacteria that can cause disease.

Water can prevent and alleviate headaches.

Water naturally moisturizes skin and ensures proper cellular formation underneath layers of skin to give it a healthy, glowing appearance.

Water aids in the digestion process and prevents constipation.

Water is the primary mode of transportation for all nutrients in the body and is essential for proper circulation.