Woman is fetching water from a jug for a young boy.

    Published: May 22, 2015

    Ten Shocking Facts About How We Consume Water

    Clean water is a given in most U.S. communities,
    where municipal treatment systems churn
    out gallonWoman is fetching water from a jug for a young boy. after gallon, day after day.
    Unfortunately, throughout the world, countless people go without access to clean water, which greatly affects quality of life, leaving many to suffer from severe illness as a result. To get a better understanding of just how lucky we are to have access to clean, safe drinking water, consider the following facts:

    1. Preventable water-related diseases kill approximately 3.4 million people every year.
    2. Nearly 20 percent of the planet’s population (1.2 billion people) lives in areas where water is scarce.
    3. In developing countries, around 70 percent of industrial waste and 90 percent of sewage is discharged into waterways without being treated.
    4. Over the past decade, there has been a rapid increase in violent conflicts over water access.
    5. In many developing countries, people walk an average of 3.5 miles to get water.
    6. In these same areas, women often spend over 15 hours per week gathering water.
    7. Every 20 seconds, a child is killed by a water-related disease.
    8. Over 50 percent of schools in developing countries lack adequate water facilities.
    9. Nearly two-thirds of these schools lack adequate sanitation.
    10. By 2025, the population in water-stressed countries will increase by 75 percent.

    When it comes to improving the lives of the world’s underprivileged, it all starts with providing cleaner, safer water. Research has shown that for every dollar spent on water and sanitation, $8 is saved in time, reduced health care costs, and increased productivity. According to the Global Burden of Disease 2004 Update from WHO, universal access to potable water and sanitation would prevent 2.5 million deaths each year.

    To learn how Pelican is working to contribute to these noble efforts and find out how you can help, view this previous post on Water and Equality.