The Global Water Crisis

2.2 Billion People Lack Access to Clean Water

4.2 Billion People Don’t Have a Decent Toilet

Whether it’s a drink of water or a working toilet, water and sanitation are basic needs we often take for granted. But globally, 1 in 3 people doesn’t have access to safe drinking water, and 1 in 2 people doesn’t have a decent toilet. This is the problem we’re facing head-on.

Impact on Women and Girls

Lack of water and sanitation services is especially hard on women and girls. They are often the ones responsible for collecting water, which takes them away from work and school. When they have water, though, all that changes. They have time to work, study, and spend time with their families.

266 MILLION HOURS
the time each day women and girls spend looking for a place to go to the bathroom¹

46,000
women who could earn a college degree every day instead of looking for a place to go to the bathroom.¹

40 BILLION HOURS
the time each year women in sub-Saharan Africa spend walking for water²

$0

billion in estimated economic losses due to poor water⁸

Impact on Economic Prosperity

Spending hours each day fetching water or battling waterborne diseases causes people to lose money on medical costs and lose time they could spend on income-generating activities. When families regain their time and health, they can turn it into education and job opportunities that lead to a better future.

Impact on Health

Without access to clean water, people resort to using and drinking water from contaminated sources, leading to preventable diseases like diarrhea and cholera. These illnesses cause families to lose time and money, and can even lead to death. When communities have a safe water source, they’re instead able to thrive.

3.4 MILLION
deaths occur each year from water-related diseases³

450,000
children died last year from water-related diseases⁴

1 in 6
health care facilities have no handwashing stations or toilets⁵

Impact on Education

Time lost from fetching water or being sick from waterborne diseases keeps many children out of school. Without kids being able to advance their education, cycles of poverty often continue generation after generation. Once schools and families have water and sanitation facilities and menstrual hygiene resources for girls, children can stay in school and families can prosper.

0 hours

girls spend each and every day collecting water⁶

¹ WaterAid, with original calculations from WHO/UNICEF, Hutton & European Union Labour Force Survey.
² United Nations
³ World Health Organization (WHO)
 UNICEF
WHO/UNICEF 2019
United Nations Water
Hutton et al. 2015
World Health Organization

THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN

Your support can help us make the world’s water crisis a problem of the past, for Everyone Forever.