Clean Water Facts on National Water Day
Water is something that every person needs but it is not always available. You would think that with the majority of the earth’s surface being covered with water, this wouldn’t be the case. However, you might be surprised at some of the facts uncovered about water.
Our bodies are over 60 percent water. You can go for several weeks without food but no more than about a week without water. It is essential for all life, so why are so many people living without decent access to clean water?
Some Startling Facts
Did you know that almost 800 million people lack access to clean water? To provide a reference, that is more than 2.5 times the population of the United States. Where are these people? They live in Africa, Latin and South America, the Caribbean and all across Asia. Even a small percentage of people (about 7 percent) in developed countries are without clean water access.
Clean water access means water for drinking, cooking, sanitation and bathing. When clean water isn’t available, people do the best they can to find water that is tolerable for their needs. Each year, over 3 million people die from water-related diseases. Unclean water can harbor bacteria that can lead to illness and death. Poor sanitation also breeds disease. Just about all the deaths reported were in developing nations; many of them were children.
With the population of the earth increasing, many of the population booms are seen in developing nations that already have poor sanitation and water issues. This fuels the development of slums, overcrowding and more competition for what water is usable. It also means more deaths resulting from lack of clean water.
The average household in America uses over 100,000 gallons of water a year. The amount of water that is used for a 5-minute shower is more than most people in developing countries would use in a day. This is not to fault developed nations, but to show the disparity between them and a large majority of the world’s population.
If you have a toilet then you are fortunate. Over a billion people don’t have proper hygiene facilities to separate waste. You are likely to find more mobile phones than toilets in the world. It is the disease that is caused by excrement waste that makes most people sick. Did you know that diarrhea accounts for over a million deaths each year in the world?
The water we have is all that there is. Water is the most common substance on earth. It moves through the three element forms -solid, liquid and gas – repeatedly. We have the water; it is a matter of getting it to the areas that need it. Ninety-seven percent of water is found in oceans and seas.
Now that you know the clean water facts, find out how you can help make a difference.
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