The Global Water Crisis
Almost one billion people around the world—that’s one in seven people—do not have access to clean water. Although fresh water is becoming increasingly scarce, the global water crisis is caused not by a lack of water, but by a lack of access.
Facts about the Crisis
–The global water crisis claims more lives through disease than any war claims through weapons. (1)
–3.575 million people die each year from water-related disease. 84% of water-related deaths are in children ages 0 - 14. (2)
–Most illnesses in the world are caused by fecal matter in water. (3)
–4,900 children perish each day from diarrhea. Every 20 seconds a child dies from a water-related disease. (4)
–Half of the world's hospital beds at any given time are occupied by patients suffering from a water-borne disease. (1)
–884 million people lack access to safe water sources, approximately 1 in 8 people. (6)
–In parts of Africa, women spend as much as eight hours collecting water. The average distance walked by women in Africa in search of water is 6 kilometers a day. (5)
We can Help
We believe the best way to provide access to clean water is to invest in sustainable water infrastructure. Sustainable development lies at the confluence of social, economic, and environmental sustainability; these water projects meet the needs of today without compromising those of tomorrow.
For every filtered water bottle you buy, we contribute $1 to a rural water project. Today, we are partnering with Engineers Without Borders USA, a non-profit organization that engages rural communities to implement the projects. We like EWB's model because it utilizes local labor, local materials,and local management, ensuring the water system is well maintained and remains remains operational long after the EWB team has left the village. For our first project, we're working with the University of Pennsylvania chapter of Engineers Without Borders to build a spring water distribution system in the village of Gundom in Cameroon.
Learn more about our Gundom Project!
- 2006 United Nations Human Development Report.
- World Health Organization. 2008. Safer Water, Better Health: Costs, benefits, and sustainability of interventions to protect and promote health.
- Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC). 2008. A Guide to Investigating One of the Biggest Scandals of the Last 50 Years.
- UNEP/UN-HABITAT. 2010. Sick Water? The Central Role of Wastewater Management in Sustainable Development.
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2002. Water and People: Whose Right Is It?.
- UNICEF/WHO. 2008. Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation: Special Focus on Sanitation.