Water Scarcity

Clean Water FAQs

Clean water problems are often big news, whether it’s ongoing crises in American locales like Flint, Michigan or Newark, New Jersey; in 11 cities across the world forecasting as most likely to run out of drinking water; or the widespread concern that two-thirds of the world will face shortages by 2025.

And yet, “water stress is the biggest crisis no one is talking about,” says Andrew Steer, President and CEO of the World Resources Institute. “Its consequences are in plain sight in the form of food insecurity, conflict and migration, and financial instability.”1

Water Stress: The Underdiscussed Global Crisis

One recent report from World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says that 785 million people lack a basic drinking-water service. Globally, at least 2 billion people use a source contaminated with feces. Contaminated water can transmit diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, and dysentery.2 The U.S. Centers for Disease Control says an estimated 801,000 children younger than 5 perish from diarrhea annually, mostly in developing countries.3

Not only is safe, readily available clean water important for public health, WHO says improved water supply, sanitation, and better management of resources “can boost countries’ economic growth and can contribute greatly to poverty reduction.”4

Water Scarcity

Water scarcity is defined as a lack of freshwater to meet the needs of the population. Many estimate that by 2025 half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas.

Water Solutions

Hydration is essential for life, and that’s why water solutions are so important. It is estimated that 785 million people lack a basic drinking water source—either fresh water isn’t available nearby or that water is contaminated.

Types of Water Wells

The “watering hole” is an important location in most societies. Whether it be the water cooler at work or the community well, water sources bring people together. There are various types of water wells around the world—each type having pros and cons.

Access to Clean Water

Access to clean water is vitally important and remains a challenge in many areas of the world. For many of us, we simply turn on the faucet and fresh drinking water pours out. But many people around the world have no access to clean water. They are left thirsty.

While most people in developed countries have ample access to clean water, 1.1 billion people worldwide lack such access. Someone must donate clean water if these precious people are ever to live healthy lives, free of waterborne disease.

Well Drilling

There are numerous organizations that offer well drilling services. While many such organizations do so for profit, other organizations—including GFA World—drill wells free of charge for impoverished communities in need. Worldwide, particularly in developing regions such as Asia and Africa, 1.1 billion people lack access to clean, safe drinking water.1 Water well drilling offers a potential solution to this water crisis.

Water Projects in Africa

With one in three people of Africa’s population facing water scarcity, the need for water projects in Africa is vast. Even when people in Africa have access to water, it is often from unprotected water sources that frequently carry various diseases. As much as two-thirds of people in sub-Saharan Africa rely on such water sources. 2 In some areas, such as sub-Saharan Africa, “40 percent of the population lacks safe drinking water,” according to National Geographic.

Water Stress

Even though the majority of the earth’s surface is covered with water, only 3 percent of that water is fresh water, and 1 percent is accessible for human consumption and agriculture.1 In addition, the world’s population continues to grow. When the growing demand for water exceeds the supply, it leads to water stress.

Global Water Crisis

With 1.1 billion people lacking access to clean water and 4 billion people experiencing water scarcity at least one month of the year, one might say the world is facing a global water crisis. Some experts predict the situation will only worsen as populations grow and the demand for limited water resources increases.

Types of Water Wells

Accessing clean, drinkable water is essential for human existence, yet it remains an issue in many parts of the world today. With the growing global water crisis, accessing water through wells will become increasingly important. There are three types of water wells: dug, driven and drilled.

Water solutions benefit not only individuals but also overall economies. On a personal level, access to clean drinking water solutions helps many individuals. It frees up women and children from multiple hours that they would otherwise spend walking far distances to gather water.

Access to Clean Water

Access to clean water is fundamental for health, growth and productive societies. Yet, 2.2 bilion people worldwide can’t obtain safely managed drinking water, and more than half the population—4.2 billion people—lack sanitation services. According to the United Nations, “Water is at the core of sustainable development and is critical for socio-economic development…”

Africa Water Crisis

More than 1.4 billion people live on the continent of Africa, which is about 16 percent of the world’s population. It’s estimated that one in three people in Africa experience the effects of water scarcity. Population growth, urbanization and industrialization are all contributing to the Africa water crisis, and it is on its way to catastrophe.

Clean Water

Having regular access to clean water is something that can be easily taken for granted. If uncontaminated water readily spills out of the faucet when the handle is turned on, it’s hard to imagine a world where there is no guarantee the water is even there, let alone safe to drink. Unfortunately, that is a reality for many people in the world.

What is Water Scarcity?

Water scarcity is a lack of fresh water to meet the needs of a population. However, answering the question “What is water scarcity?” is much more complicated than that basic definition, and many elements need to be discussed. First, it is important to note that the UN General Assembly has made water availability a high priority for many years.

Global Sanitation Crisis

In the shadows of modernity, the global sanitation crisis, a colossal crisis silently engulfs our world, affecting billions of lives. This crisis transcends the mere need for toilets; it strikes at the core of humanity, impacting health, education, and human dignity.

Sanitation issues are often attributed to developing nations. Developed countries, often seen as exemplars of modern infrastructure, also grapple with their own set of water and sanitation issues. Let us delve into these sanitation challenges in developed nations, exploring their nuances and potential ramifications.

Building Wells in Africa

According to the World Health Organization, half the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas by 2025. Africa is one of the hardest hit places in the world due to drought, shifting population needs and infrastructure demands. This is why building wells in Africa must be a priority for organizations who can help ease the crisis millions are facing.

Wells in Africa

Drought, water scarcity and pollution are all contributing more and more to the water crisis in Africa, so it is becoming increasingly important to provide more clean water solutions like wells in Africa, BioSand water filters, and improved water infrastructure when able, to slow the trend. It may be difficult to understand how anyone could struggle to find enough water on a planet that has 71 percent of its surface covered by it.

1 Cassella, Carly. “Nearly 25% of The World’s Population Faces a Water Crisis, And We Can’t Ignore It.” Science Alerthttps://www.sciencealert.com/17-countries-are-facing-extreme-water-stress-and-they-hold-a-quarter-of-the-world-s-population. August 7, 2019.
2 “Drinking-water. Key facts.” World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/drinking-water, June 14, 2019.
3 “Global Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene (WASH).” Centers for Disease Control. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/global/wash_statistics.html. Accessed September 17, 2020.
4 “Drinking-water. Key facts.”. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/drinking-water, June 14, 2019.