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WATER SCARCITY & THE IMPORTANCE OF WATER

Learn about access to water and the global water shortage

Clean, safe drinking water is scarce. Today, nearly 1 billion people in the developing world don’t have access to it. Yet, we take it for granted, we waste it, and we even pay too much to drink it from little plastic bottles.
Water is the foundation of life. And still today, all around the world, far too many people spend their entire day searching for it.
In places like sub-Saharan Africa, time lost gathering water and suffering from water-borne diseases is limiting people’s true potential, especially women and girls.
Education is lost to sickness. Economic development is lost while people merely try to survive. But it doesn’t have to be like this. It’s needless suffering.

Clean water changes everything.

Diseases from dirty water kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war.

43% of those deaths are children under five years old. Access to clean water and basic sanitation can save around 16,000 lives every week.

In Africa alone, women spend 40 billion hours a year walking for water.

Access to clean water gives communities more time to grow food, earn an income, and go to school — all of which fight poverty.

Clean water helps keep kids in school, especially girls.

Less time collecting water means more time in class. Clean water and proper toilets at school means teenage girls don’t have to stay home for a week out of every month.

Women are responsible for 72% of the water collected in Sub-Saharan Africa.

When a community gets water, women and girls get their lives back. They start businesses, improve their homes, and take charge of their own futures.

WHAT IS WATER SCARCITY?

Simply put, water scarcity is either the lack of enough water or lack of access to safe water .

It’s hard for most of us to imagine that clean, safe water is not something that can be taken for granted. But, in the developing world, finding a reliable source of safe water is often time-consuming and expensive. This is known as economic scarcity. Water can be found…it simply requires more resources to do it.
In other areas, the lack of water is a more profound problem. There simply isn’t enough. That is known as physical scarcity.

The problem of water scarcity is a growing one. As more people put ever-increasing demands on limited supplies, the cost and effort to build or even maintain access to water will increase. And water’s importance to political and social stability will only grow with the crisis.

concept of saving water and caring about the environment: surreal map of the world with sea pattern inside continents

How do we tackle the water crisis?

We work with local experts and community members to find the best sustainable solution in each place where we work, whether it’s a well, a piped system, a BioSand Filter, or a system for harvesting rainwater. And with every water point we fund, our partners coordinate sanitation and hygiene training, and establish a local Water Committee to help keep water flowing for years to come.

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