Why Water?

We race for water. A penny a mile gives water for life.

• 1.1 billion people in the world do not have access to safe drinking water, roughly one-sixth of the world’s population.

• 2.2 million people in developing countries, most of them children, die every year from diseases associated with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene.

• Half of the world’s hospital beds are filled with people suffering from water related illnesses.

• In the past 10 years, diarrhea has killed more children than all the people lost to armed conflict since World War II.

• Despite the size of the problem, we have made little progress against it. There were only 181 million fewer people living without safe drinking water in rural settings in 2004 (899 million) vs. 1990 (1.08 billion)*1.

• 50 percent of people on earth lack adequate sanitation. Another way to look at it: Nearly half of the world’s population fails to receive the level of water services available 2,000 years ago to the citizens of ancient Rome.

• Lack of sufficient funding. It is estimated that, in 2004, only US$4b in overseas development assistance was provided to meet the UN’s Millennium Development Goal (MDG) around water*2, versus a projected need of approximately US$10b annually for basic water and sanitation services and an additional US$15b to US$20b annually to provide a higher level of service and to maintain existing services.*3 Note that the MDG goal, reducing the number of people living without safe drinking water and sanitation by half by 2015, still leaves hundreds of millions of people without water and sanitation.

Learn more on the Blue Planet Network web site: Facts About Water | Project Info