We have summarised some of the latest World Water Facts relating to the impact of water and humanitarian relief.

The issues remain challenging, complex and difficult to solve. The positive news is that many organisations, groups and individuals are focused on solving these problems.  SkyJuice is one such organisation. Our vision is ‘Safe Water For Every Child’. Help us by sharing this article on social media.  When more people are aware of the facts, the greater support can be gathered to solve the greater problem.  Find out how you can support us.

World Water Facts – Access to safe drinking water

Fact 1

At least 1.8 billion people worldwide are estimated to drink water that is faecally contaminated. An even greater number drink water which is delivered through a system without adequate protection against sanitary hazards.  Source: WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation

Fact 2

768 million people do not use an improved source of drinking-water and 2.5 billion people do not use improved sanitation as of 2011.  Source: Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP), 2013

Fact 3

Almost 900 million people in the world do not have access to clean, safe drinking water, while 2.6 billion live without basic sanitation. Across the globe, more than 6,000 people die each day from diseases caused by dirty water. Most disturbingly, two thirds are children. Source: Oxfam Australia.

Fact 4

1 in 9 people worldwide do not have access to improved sources of drinking water. Source: UN Water Quality Fact Sheet 2013.

Fact 5

Over 8 out of 10 people who do not use an improved source of drinking water live in rural areas. Source: Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP), 2013

Our input: Statistics are collated from many different organisations around the world. Many of the figures are qualitative as it is very difficult to get actual numbers on the ground. That is why you often see difference figures quoted. The main take home message is that there are a lot of people globally, still without clean, safe drinking water. This has huge ramifications for health, education and social equity. We aim to reduce the number of people impacted by water-related illnesses around the world via our vision for ‘Safe Water for Every Child’. Find out more about the SkyJuice Foundation.

World Water Facts – Water is the primary medium of life on earth

Fact 6

Water is a primary medium through which impacts human activity and the climate impact with the earth’s surface. It influences ecosystems, people and society. It is through water and its quality that people will feel the impact of change most strongly. Source: World Water Development Report 2012

Our input: Basically this means that the currently evidenced changes in climate and human activity have impact on the earth’s surface, ecosystems and people. There are consequences and we are seeing impact changes to water, its quality and availability.

World Water Facts – Population growth and water stress

Fact 7

In 2030, 47% of world population will be living in areas of high water stress. Most population growth will occur in developing countries, mainly in regions that are already experiencing water stress. Those areas have limited access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities. Source: World Water Development Report 2012

Fact 8

It is estimated that 827.6 million people live in slums, often lacking adequate drinking water and sanitation services. Slums are projected to grow by 27 million people per year. In Africa and Asia, the urban population will double between 2000 and 2030. Source: UN-HABITAT

Fact 9

Collecting water is expected to become increasingly burdensome with global warming. More regions will experience water shortages, as rainfall becomes erratic, glaciers melt and sea levels rise. People living within 100 kilometres of a shoreline, one full third of the world’s population, will be hit especially hard. These are the persons most susceptible to increased salinity of coastal potable water sources. As it takes more time to gather water and fuel, the available time for education or other economic and political activities decreases. The majority of children worldwide who do not attend school are girls. Source: UN Women.

Fact 10

The UN suggests that each person needs 20-50 litres of water a day to ensure their basic needs for drinking, cooking and cleaning. Source: World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP)

Fact 11

Between 1990 and 20112.1 billion people gained access to improved sources for drinking-water. Over 70% of the global progress was achieved through access to piped drinking-water. It was reported that 1.2 billion people were in the urban areas of the developing world, but due to the urban population growth the percentage gain was only 2% between 1990-2011. Source: Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP), 2013

Fact 12

The number of people in urban areas without improved sanitation increased by 196 million people between 1990 and 2011 because of urban population growth. Source: Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP), 2013.

Fact 13

Only 47% of the rural population use improved sanitation. Rural areas lag far behind urban areas where the rate is 80%. Seven out of ten people without improved sanitation live in rural areas. Source: Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP), 2013.

Fact 14

There are 276 Transboundary River Basins in the world and 200 Transboundary aquifers have also been identified. Almost 450 agreements on international waters were signed between 1820 and 2007. Source: UN Transboundary Waters Fact Sheet 2013.

Fact 15

The industrial and domestic sectors respectively account for the 20% and 10% of global water use. These figures vary considerably across countries. In most of the world’s least developed countries, agriculture accounts for more than 90% of water withdrawals. Rain-fed agriculture is the predominant agricultural production system around the world. Current productivity is, on average, little more than 1/2 the potential obtainable under optimal agricultural management. Without improved efficiencies, agricultural water consumption is expected to increase globally by about 20% by 2050. Source: World Water Development Report 2014

Fact 16

Part of the current pressure on water resources comes from increasing demands for animal feed requirements. Meat production requires 8-10 times more water than cereal production. Source: World Water Development Report 2012.

Fact 17

Water use has been growing at more than twice the rate of population increase in the last century. Source: UN Water Scarcity Fact sheet 2013.

Our input: There is no doubt that water related problems are going to get more difficult with increased population growth and climate change. Solutions need to be simple to implement, economical and focused at the community level. The SkyJuiceTM Foundation offers this solution. Find out more about us.

World Water Facts – Water quality driven illness

Fact 18

Globally, diarrhoea is the leading cause of illness and death. It is reported that 88 per cent of diarrhoeal deaths are due to a lack of access to sanitation facilities, together with inadequate availability of water for hygiene and unsafe drinking water. Source: Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP), 2013.

Fact 19

In Sub-Saharan Africa, treating diarrhoea consumes 12 percent of the health budget. On a typical day, more than half the hospital beds in are occupied by patients suffering from faecal-related disease. Source: Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)

Fact 20

It is reported that the number of cholera cases for the decade 2000–2010 increased by 130 %.  The likely risk from cholera will likely increase worldwide due to the growing populations living in peri-urban slums and refugee camps, as well as increasing numbers of people exposed to the impacts of humanitarian crises. Source: World Water Development Report 2012

Our input: Water-related diseases have massive toll on health, economic and social costs. Solutions to provide safe, clean water are needed at a massive scale, but need to be integrated at the community level. The SkyJuiceTM Foundation offers this solution. Find out more about us.

World Water Facts – Water impacts on women

Fact 21

In African countries, 90% of the work of gathering water and wood is done by women. Source: UN Water and Gender Fact Sheet.

Fact 22

Also in African countries, women and girls often spend up to 6 hours per day fetching water. Source: UN Water and Gender Fact Sheet.

Fact 23

Reducing the distance to water source from 30 to 15 min increased girl’s school attendance by 12%. Source: A Study in Tanzania quoted in UN Water and Gender Fact Sheet.

Fact 24

Involving the participation of women can increase the effectiveness of water projects by 6-7 times. Source: UN Water and Gender Fact Sheet.

Fact 25

If worm had the same access to productive resources as men, including water, then women could potentially increase yields on their farms by 20-30% and lift 150 million people out of hunger. Source: UN Water and Gender Fact Sheet.

Our input: Women and children are at the greatest risk from the water crisis but solutions also mean they have the most to gain. Projects that provide safe, clean drinking water for communities have massive improvements for women and children’s quality of life such as more time spend growing nutritious food and healthy children being able to attend school. The SkyJuiceTM Foundation projects have shown these positive outcomes. 

World Water Facts – Water pollution

Fact 26

The major sources of water pollution are from human settlements and industrial & agricultural activities. Source: UN Water Quality Fact Sheet 2013.

Fact 27

Nitrate from agriculture is the most common nutrient contaminant in the world’s groundwater aquifers. Source: UN Water Quality Fact Sheet 2013.

Fact 28

It is estimated that 80% of sewage in developing countries is discharged untreated directly to water bodies. Source: UN Water Quality Fact Sheet 2013.

Fact 29

It is estimated that globally, Industry dumps an estimated 300-400 Mega Tonnes of polluted waste in waters every year. Source: UN Water Quality Fact Sheet 2013.

Our input: As well as providing solutions at the end of the water systems to make water quality suitable for human consumption and use, there needs to be significant changes to address the input of pollutants to water bodies. The SkyJuiceTM Foundation works with NGO’s on the ground to identify suitable water sources to install water filtration systems. Find out more about partners and projects.

World Water Facts – Deaths due to water supply, sanitation and hygiene

Fact 30

Approximately 3.5 million people die each year due to inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene.  Source: UN Water Quality Fact Sheet 2013.

Our input: We aim to reduce the number of people that die each year due to water-related illnesses. You can support us by sharing this article on social media – the more people that know the facts the more help we will get. For more ideas on how you can help visit our Support Us page.


Marcus · 5 April 2018 at 2:51 pm

could you include facts on water usage

SkyJuice Foundation · 3 May 2018 at 12:10 pm

Thanks Marcus. Could you give us a bit more information on what you’re looking for. What sort of water usage facts were you interested in? Thanks

Nikhil H chauhan · 4 June 2018 at 8:38 pm

????????Thanks a lot ????????

M Sainathan · 11 March 2019 at 2:26 am

I’m Rotarian Sainathan from Chennai, India.

The articles on safe water and facts about the Water is really very useful information.
I would like to have more information in this regard to sponsor through Rotary Club.
Could you send me the details to my mail ID

Thank you,

Rtn. Sainathan

SkyJuice Foundation · 16 April 2019 at 9:16 pm

Hello and thank you for your message,

It has been forwarded to the right person who will be in contact with you. Would you like us to add your email address to our newsletter database as well?


SkyJuice Foundation

Marcia Mwandiringa · 28 June 2019 at 7:58 pm

Hello Skyjuice team.I am Marcia Mwandiringa with the Research and Development Department at Community Water Alliance (a civic organisation based in Zimbabwe that deals with Water,Environment and Climate change related issues).I came across your water facts and i found them very educative.We are kindly asking to use your facts on our Facebook page.

To add on ,we would also love to work with you in the near future.I visited your website and i was delighted to see that you have worked with some African countries( Kenya and Ghana) on some of your projects.Next time you want to work in Africa,may you please consider Zimbabwe,Community Water Alliance would like to work with you in making sure safe,potable water is easily accessible to everyone in Zimbabwe.Looking forward to your reply

Warm Regards

SkyJuice Foundation · 15 July 2019 at 10:03 pm

Hello Marcia,

We are happy for you to use the water facts in your social media. I have also forwarded your details to the correct person for future projects and contact. In the meanwhile, please sign up for our newsletter and you will get news of all of our latest projects. Thank you.

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