1. Water covers 70% of our planet, and it is easy to think that it will always be plentiful. However, freshwater—the stuff we drink, bathe in, irrigate our farm fields with—is incredibly rare. Only 3% of the world’s water is fresh water, and two-thirds of that is tucked away in frozen glaciers or otherwise unavailable for our use.
2. As a result, some 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to water, and a total of 2.7 billion find water scarce for at least one month of the year.
3. Inadequate sanitation is also a problem for 2.4 billion people—they are exposed to diseases, such as cholera and typhoid fever, and other water-borne illnesses.
4. We have ignored the earth’s environmental stop signs. Faced with falling water tables, not a single country has mobilised to reduce water use. Unless we can wake up to the risks we are taking, we will join earlier civilizations that failed to reverse the environmental trends that undermined their food economies.
5. More than half the world’s wetlands have disappeared. Agriculture consumes more water than any other source and wastes much of that through inefficiencies.
6. Climate change is altering patterns of weather and water around the world, causing shortages and droughts in some areas and floods in others.At the current consumption rate, this situation will only get worse. By 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population may face water shortages. And ecosystems around the world will suffer even more.
7. Water scarcity is the lack of fresh water resources to meet water demand.
8. One-thirds of the global population (2 billion people) live under conditions of severe water scarcity at least 1 month of the year.
9. Half a billion people in the world face severe water scarcity all year round. Half of the world’s largest cities experience water scarcity.