Recent studies found that 30 percent of homes with indoor plumbing in Uzbekistan had no residual chlorine levels. The addition of home chlorination subsequently led to a 62 percent reduction in diarrheal disease. This finding challenges the idea that piped water is generally safe and indicates that in some settings home treatment may be necessary in addition to improved water sources.
From 1990 to 2000, the total annual investment in sanitation in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean was $3.1 billion in comparison to a $12.5 billion annual investment in water during the same period
* Of all water on earth, 97 % is salt water, and of the remaining 3 % fresh water, some 70% is frozen in the polar icecaps. The other 30% is mostly present as soil moisture or lies in underground aquifers.
* Less than 1% of the world’s fresh water is readily accessible for direct human uses.
* Global water use: Agriculture 70 %, Industry 20 %, Domestic use 10 %.
* A child born in the developed world consumes 30 to 50 times as much water as one in the developing world.
* With rapid population growth, water withdrawals have tripled over the last 50 years.
* An estimated 90% of the 3 billion people who are expected to be added to the population by 2050 will be in developing countries, many in regions already in water stress where the current population does not have sustainable access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation.
* The 10 largest water users (in volume) are India, China, the United States, Pakistan, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Mexico and the Russian Federation.
* Water withdrawals are predicted to increase by 50 percent by 2025 in developing countries, and 18 per cent in developed countries.
* In 2030, 47% of world population will be living in areas of high water stress.
* By 2030 the number of urban dwellers is expected to be about 1.8 billion more than in 2005 and to constitute about 60% of the world’s population. As the urban population increases, many major cities have had to draw freshwater from increasingly distant watersheds, as local surface and groundwater sources no longer meet the demand for water, or as they become depleted or polluted
* To ensure our basic needs, we all need 20 to 50 litres of water free from harmful contaminants each and every day.
* Almost one-tenth of the global disease burden could be prevented by improving water supply, sanitation, hygiene and management of water resources. Such improvements reduce child mortality and improve health and nutritional status in a sustainable way.
* Up to 50% of malnutrition is related to repeated diarrhoea or intestinal nematode infections as a result of unclean water, inadequate sanitation or poor hygiene.
* 87 per cent of the world’s population – 5.7 billion people – uses drinking water from improved sources. 54 per cent uses a piped connection in their dwelling, plot or yard, and 33 per cent uses other improved drinking water sources such as public taps, standpipes, tube wells or boreholes, protected dug wells, protected springs and rainwater collection.
* Current trends suggest that more than 90% of the global population will use improved drinking water sources by 2015.
* 884 million people – about half of whom live in Asia – still rely on drinking water from unimproved sources such as ponds, streams, irrigation canals and unprotected dug wells.
* 30 to 40% of water or more goes unaccounted for due to water leakages in pipes and canals and illegal tapping.
* Some African countries have been making rapid progress in drinking water coverage. For example, Tanzania was only 38% covered in 1990, and in 2002 was 73% covered; Namibia was 58% covered in 1990, and in 2002 was 80% covered.
* Improved water supply reduces diarrhoea morbidity by 21%.
* Improved sanitation reduces diarrhoea morbidity by 37.5%.
* Hygiene interventions including hygiene education and promotion of hand washing can lead to a reduction of diarrhoeal cases by up to 45%.
* the total annual economic benefits of meeting the MDG target on water supply and sanitation accrue to USD 84 billion.
* Economic losses, due to the lack of water and sanitation in Africa as a result of the mortality and morbidity impacts, are estimated at $28.4 billion or about 5% of GDP.
* Poor countries with access to clean water and sanitation services experience faster economic growth than those without: one study found that the annual economic growth rate was 3.7 % among poor countries with better access to improved water and sanitation services, while similarly poor countries without access had an annual growth of just 0.1 %
* Today, irrigated agriculture covers 275 million hectares – about 20% of cultivated land – and accounts for 40% of global food production.
* Feeding everyone in 2050 – including the undernourished and additional 3 billion people expected – could require 50 % more water than is needed now.
* Industry and energy together account for 20% of water demand
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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