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40 Shocking Facts About Water

by Matt Scott Jun 30, 2009
Water: we once thought it was an endless natural resource. Now we know better.
1. Over 1.5 billion people do not have access to clean, safe water.

2. Almost 4 million people die each year from water related diseases.

12. The average toilet uses 8 litres of clean water in a single flush.

13. At any one time, more than half the world’s poor are ill due to inadequate sanitation, water or hygiene.

14. It takes over 11,000 litres of water to produce a pound of coffee.

15. Half the world’s schools do not have access to clean water, nor adequate sanitation.

16. It takes about 300 litres of water to make the paper for just one Sunday newspaper.

17. Agriculture is responsible for about 70% of the world’s water usage. Industry uses a further 22%.

18. 443 million school days are lost each year due to water related illness.

19. On average, women in Africa and Asia have to walk 3.7 miles to collect water.

20. The average dishwasher uses over 100 litres per cycle.

21. It takes up to 5000 litres of water to produce 1kg of rice.

22. 80% of all illness in the developing world comes from water born diseases.

23. Drilling a fresh water well can cost anything from a few hundred dollars to over $40,000.

24. Over 2.6 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation.

25. 90% of wastewater in developing countries is discharged into rivers or streams without any treatment.

26. About 1.8 million child deaths a year are due to diarrhea.
27. An 18 litre can of water weighs 20 kilos.

28. About half the world’s hospital beds are occupied by someone with a water related illness.

29. A five minute shower in an American household will use more water than a person living in a developing world slum will use in a whole day.

30. A third of the people without access to clean water live on less than a dollar a day. More than two thirds live on less than two dollars a day.

31. Water consumption in a US household is eight times that of an Indian household.

32. In India alone, water born diseases cost the economy 73 million working days per year.

33. In sub-Saharan Africa a child’s chance of dying from diarrhea is over 500 times greater than in Europe.

34. Approximately 2.5 billion people lack access to appropriate sanitation facilities.

35. About 1.2 billion people have absolutely no access to a sanitation facility.

36. In a typical year in Africa 5–10 times the number of people die from diarrhea than from war.

37. Simply washing hands can decrease the chance of diarrhea by around 35%.

38. Global sales of bottled water account for over $60-$80 billion each year.

39. A child dies of water born diseases about every 15 seconds (that’s about 12 children just since you started reading this article). By this time tomorrow, another 2,500 will be dead.

40. As little as one dollar can provide clean water for a child in the developing world for an entire year.

Community Connection:

Want to help?,,, and are just three of the hundreds of charities trying to bring clean water to the developing world.

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