SAVING WATER / INTRO
Not only those countries that count as the driest regions in the world need to use their water economically…
Frankly our water is being used like there is no tomorrow. There are many reasons to save water. It’s precious and costs are set to rise dramatically. We need to treat it with more respect. Moreover…*
- the highly developed countries in North America, Europe and the Far East, some of which have more than enough water, also need to use their water sensibly. It is these countries, which use the most water;
- typically, water use is categorised by its three major uses: agriculture, industry, and domestic consumption often measured as municipal use. In global terms agriculture is seen as the sector that uses the most water. However, in countries with a higher per-capita income industry accounts for a higher share of water withdrawal according to World Bank estimates.
- 1.1 billion: the estimated number of people worldwide who lack access to clean drinking water;
- 2.4 billion: the estimated number of people worldwide who lack access to sanitation. Most are in Africa and Asia;
- billion: the estimated number of people who depend on groundwater worldwide (about one-third of the world's population). Countries around the world face rapidly depleting groundwater resources, including parts of India, China, West Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, the former Soviet Union and the western United States;
- about 80: the number of countries that had experienced serious water shortages by the mid 1990s. This makes up about 40 per cent of the world's population;
- one-third: the proportion of the global population who live in countries with moderate-to-high water stress. Water stress occurs when water consumption exceeds 10 per cent of renewable freshwater resources. West Asia faces the severest threat. More than 90 per cent of the population in the region lives under severe water stress;
- two-thirds: the proportion of the global population that is expected to be living in water stressed conditions in less than 25 years;
- 40%: the increase in global water use expected by 2020;
- US$30 billion: the projected cost per year of bringing poor people universal access to water by 2015.
(*) United Nations Environment Programme, GEO-Global Environment Outlook 3, Past, Present and Future Perspectives.