Water is at the core of sustainable development and is critical for socio-economic development, healthy ecosystems and for human survival itself. It is vital for reducing the global burden of disease and improving the health, welfare and productivity of populations.
Water is also at the heart of adaptation to climate change, serving as the crucial link between the climate system, human society and the environment…
- 2.2 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services. (WHO/UNICEF 2019)
- Almost 2 billion people depend on health care facilities without basic water services (WHO/UNICEF 2020)
- Over half of the global population or 4.2 billion people lack safely managed sanitation services. (WHO/UNICEF 2019)
- 297,000 children under five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases due to poor sanitation, poor hygiene, or unsafe drinking water. (WHO/UNICEF 2019)
- 2 billion people live in countries experiencing high water stress. (UN 2019)
- 90 per cent of natural disasters are weather-related, including floods and droughts. (UNISDR)
- 80 per cent of wastewater flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused. (UNESCO, 2017)
- Around two-thirds of the world’s transboundary rivers do not have a cooperative management framework. (SIWI)
- Agriculture accounts for 70 per cent of global water withdrawal. (FAO)
Water is complex because it is linked to almost everything in the world. But complexity should not hinder understanding: Water is a precondition for human existence and for the sustainability of the planet.