Wet's the Matter?
- 1.1 billion — the number of people worldwide who lack an adequate and safe supply of water for their daily needs, approximately one in five
- 5 million — the number of people, mostly children, who die each year from illnesses caused by poor-quality water supplies
- 5 — the minimum number of gallons of water needed to meet a person’s daily needs, according to the World Health Organization
- 4.5 — the average number of gallons of water consumed daily per person in Haiti in 1995
- 24 million — the number of people in Bangladesh estimated to be drinking water from arsenic-tainted shallow wells
- 50 — the percentage of people in Africa who suffer from water-related diseases such as cholera and infant diarrhea
- 20 — the percentage of the world’s freshwater supply that is in Canada, which recently banned bulk exports of water
- $90 billion — estimated annual global investments in public water supplies
- $4 billion — estimated annual sales of the U.S. bottled water industry
- 2 — the number of people who stripped naked during the opening ceremonies of the recent World Water Forum, to protest the construction of a dam in Spain
1 — World Health Organization, “Focus on Sanitation,” Environmental Health Newsletter, No. 27, October 1997.
2 — Maude Barlow, Blue Gold: The Global Water Crisis and the Commodification of the World’s Water Supply, International Forum on Globalization, June 1999.
3,4 — Michael Norton, Neighborhood Committees Tackle Haiti’s Water Shortage, Associated Press, May 4, 1998.
5 — U.S. Water News Online, Arsenic Poison in Bangladesh Wells Reduces Access to Safe Water, April 2000.
6 — Reuters News Service, Africa Deluge Masks Water Shortage Threat, March 15, 2000.
7 — Environment Canada, Bulk Water Removals and Water Export – Frequently Asked Questions.
8 — Reuters News Service, Water Conference to Tackle Growing Global Crisis, March 17, 2000.
9 — Natural Resources Defense Council, Bottled Water: Pure Drink or Pure Hype?, March 1999.
10 — Reuters News Service, Global Forum Urges Clean Water for All, March 20, 2000.
Get Grist in your inbox