The World Wide Water Crisis

All around the world there are millions of people everyday that struggle to have fresh clean water for drinking and cooking. In America we have thousands of homeless veterans who do not have access to fresh drinking water daily. In Nepal a great earthquake killed thousands of people and destroyed the clean water facilities that delivered fresh water to towns and villages. East African villages suffer from the lack of access to clean water and many African children die of water borne diseases everyday.


More than 3.4 million people die each year from water, sanitation, and hygiene-related causes. Nearly all deaths, 99 percent, occur in the developing world. Every 21 seconds, a child dies from a water related illness. 780 million people lack access to an improved water source; approximately one in nine people.The water and sanitation crisis claims more lives through disease than any war claims through guns.An American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than the average person in a developing country slum uses for an entire day.


An estimated 200 million hours are spent each day globally collecting water. Surveys from 45 developing countries show that women and children bear the primary responsibility for water collection in the majority of households. This is time not spent working at an income-generating job, caring for family members, or attending school. In just one day, it is estimated that more than 152 million hours of women and girls’ time is consumed for the most basic of human needs — collecting water for domestic use


In the rainy season of Africa, water is often collected in large tanks from the runoff from the roofs. Although this is rainwater and might appear to be a great source of drinking water, it becomes contaminated very quickly sitting in the tanks. This water would need to be boiled before it is safe to consume.


Boiling water will make it drinkable and safe to drink. However, it may remove some of the essential vitamins and minerals that give water life. Without these important nutrients, water becomes “dead water”. Without electricity, it takes time to build a fire, boil the water and let it cool down before it can be consumed.