What Are Some Global Water Crisis Facts?

Global water crisis facts are tracked by organizations such as the United Nations Water, World Resources Institute, World Health Organization, World Vision and more.

Here is what they report.

From World Vision:

  • 785 million people worldwide lack access to clean water. That’s one in 10 people.
  • Women and girls spend an estimated 200 million hours hauling water every day.
  • The average rural African woman walks 6 kilometers every day to haul 40 pounds of water.
  • Every day, more than 800 children under 5 die from diarrhea caused by contaminated water, poor sanitation and unsafe hygiene practices.[1]

From United Nations Water:

  • Of the 89 countries worldwide with water quality data, only 52 have information about ground water, which is problematic because groundwater often represents the largest share of freshwater in a country.
  • Several water-related diseases, including cholera and schistosomiasis, remain widespread across many developing countries, where only a very small fraction (in some cases less than 5%) of domestic and urban wastewater is treated prior to its release into the environment.
  • The greatest increases in exposure to pollutants are expected to occur in low- and lower-middle income countries, primarily because of higher population and economic growth in these countries, especially those in Africa, and the lack of wastewater management systems.[2]

World Health Organization reports:

  • Safe and sufficient water facilitates the practice of hygiene, which is a key measure to prevent not only diarrheal diseases, but acute respiratory infections and numerous neglected tropical diseases.
  • Microbiologically contaminated drinking water can transmit diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio and is estimated to cause 485,000 diarrheal deaths each year.
  • Over 2 billion people live in water-stressed countries, which is expected to be exacerbated in some regions as result of weather changes and population growth.
  • Globally, at least 2 billion people use a drinking water source contaminated with feces. Microbial contamination of drinking-water because of contamination with feces poses the greatest risk to drinking-water safety.[3]

GFA World can meet many of these issues through the affordable and sustainable BioSand Filter. For the cost of about $30, the filter with its multiple layers of sand and sediment can be set up anywhere and last for 20 years with proper maintenance. It is a simple structure housed in a concrete box that does not use electricity and so is ideal for use in remote areas.

Such a simple and affordable tool can be sponsored by you today, as you join with GFA missionaries to bring these life-saving water filters to people in some of the most water-vulnerable areas in the world, including South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Learn more about Africa water crisis

[1] “Global water crisis: Facts, FAQs, and how to help.” World Vision. https://www.worldvision.org/clean-water-news-stories/global-water-crisis-facts#:~:text=Is%20it%20achievable%3F-,Fast%20facts%3A%20Global%20water%20crisis,haul%2040%20pounds%20of%20water. Accessed November 19, 2022.
[2] “Water Quality and Wastewater.” United Nations Water. https://www.unwater.org/water-facts/water-quality-and-wastewater. Accessed November 19, 2022.
[3] “Drinking-water.” World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/drinking-water. Accessed November 19, 2022.
* Cover Photo: “Digging for drinking water in a dry riverbed.” UK Department for International Development. https://www.flickr.com/photos/dfid/6220146368. September 29, 2011.