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| Last Updated:: 07/09/2017


The Facts about Water at Global Level


  • An estimated 663 million people worldwide do not have access to an improved drinking-water source (UNICEF/WHO, 2015), and an estimated 1.9 billion people rely on drinking-water that is faecally contaminated (Bain et al., 2014). Improved water sources that are not operated or maintained properly may deliver water that is microbiologically contaminated (WHO/UNICEF, 2011). In addition, microbial recontamination often occurs during collection of water at the source, transport and storage within the home (Wright, Gundry & Conroy, 2004).
  • In 2015, 91% of the world’s population had access to an improved drinking-water source, compared with 76% in 1990.
  • 2.6 billion people have gained access to an improved drinking-water source since 1990.
  • 4.2 billion people now get water through a piped connection; 2.4 billion access water through other improved sources including public taps, protected wells and boreholes.
  • 663 million people rely on unimproved sources, including 159 million dependent on surface water.
  • Globally, at least 1.8 billion people use a drinking-water source contaminated with faeces.
  • Contaminated water can transmit diseases such diarrhoea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio. Contaminated drinking-water is estimated to cause 502 000 diarrhoeal deaths each year.
  • By 2025, half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas.
  • In low- and middle-income countries, 38% of health care facilities lack any water source, 19% do not have improved sanitation and 35% lack water and soap for handwashing.


Source: World Health Organisation





  • Of all the water on earth, only 2.5 per cent is fresh water
  • Approximately 66 per cent of the human body consists of water.
  • The total amount of water in the body of an average adult is 37 litres.
  • Human brains are 75 per cent water, bones are 25 per cent water and blood is 83 per cent water.
  • A person can live about a month without food, but only about a week without water.
  • A person must consume 2 litres of water daily to live healthily.
  • Humans drink an average of 75,000 litres of water throughout their life.
  • Ground water supplies serve about 80 per cent of the population, whereas up to 4 per cent of usable ground water is already polluted!.
  • In developing countries each day, almost 10,000 children under the age of five die as a result of illnesses contracted by use of impure water.
  • About 25,700 litres of water is required to grow a day’s food for a family of four
  • Over 70,000 different water contaminants have been identified.
  • Water is one of India’s most pressing problems — 80 per cent of infectious diseases are water borne and 1.5 million pre-school children in India die every year from diarrhoea.
  • More than 3.4 million people die each year from water, sanitation, and hygiene-related causes. Nearly all deaths, 99 percent, occur in the developing world.
  • Lack of access to clean water and sanitation kills children at a rate equivalent of a jumbo jet crashing every four hours.
  • Of the 60 million people added to the world's towns and cities every year, most move to informal settlements (i.e. slums) with no sanitation facilities.
  • 780 million people lack access to an improved water source; approximately one in nine people.
  • [The water and sanitation] crisis claims more lives through disease than any war claims through guns.
  • An American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than the average person in a developing country slum uses for an entire day.
  • Over 2.5X more people lack water than live in the United States.

Source:,,  Report Progress on Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene