by Lauren Cohen

This past Saturday was World Water Day, a day to be grateful for our access to clean drinking water and a time to turn our attention to the millions of people who are so fortunate.

Globally speaking, fresh water is an endangered resource. Droughts are common and water is scarce. According to the U.S. State Department, the domestic need for fresh water will exceed supply by 40 percent by the year 2030. While people are aware of the global water shortage to some extent, many do not realize the implications for the impoverished residents of undeveloped countries.

Source: Allan Foster

Here are some facts and figures about the lack of safe water wells and sanitation:
• Approximately 1.8 million people die every year from diarrheal diseases; 90% are children under 5 years old.
• 500 million people are at risk from trachoma due in large part to the lack of face and body washing.
• Every year there are 1.5 million cases of clinical Hepatitis A, a disease which is often transmitted through water or unwashed food.
• On average, women in Africa and Asia have to walk 3.7 miles every day to collect water.
• Almost 4 million people die each year from water-related diseases.
• 70% of the world is covered in water, but only 1% is drinkable.
• 768 million people do not have access to safe, clean drinking water and 2.5 billion people live without proper sanitation
• Across the globe, every day, 1,400 children die from diseases directly linked to unsafe water or a lack of basic sanitation facilities.

So we know that many people lack access to clean water and sanitation, and we know that when water is unsafe and sanitation is non-existent, death and disease are the result. But what can we do? As individuals, we can start by being cognizant of global water conditions and helping to spread awareness. Sweeping the globe with knowledge about water will help bring this issue to the forefront, and help to generate the will necessary to bring clean drinking water to those in need. To see how you can work with us, plase visit our Get Involved page; or consider making a donation today.