Have you thought of water lately? probably not, especially if you have it in abundance. Here are some water facts to make you think about water!
1. Earth is covered by 70% water, but that’s just 1/1000th of the Earth’s volume
By volume, the Earth is about 1 trillion or 1,000 billion cubic kilometers. All of the earth’s water comes in at a thousand times smaller, in a sphere with a volume of 1.4 billion cubic kilometers and about 1,400 kilometers in diameter - that’s about the length of Madagascar.
2. Saltwater accounts for 97.5% of Earth’s water, Only 2.5% is Freshwater
Did you know that we only use 0.3% of the Earth’s water? Earth has around 1.4 billion cubic kilometers of water. Bu only 35 million (about 2.5%) of this total volume is freshwater. Of the 2.5% freshwater, only 0.3% is freshwater (about 100,000 cubic kilometers) is available for humans to use - the rest is either underground or frozen.
But that is still plenty, with this statistic every one of the 7 billion people on earth has access to about 15,000 cubic meters of water or 6 Olympic sized swimming pools full, per person.
3. Latin America has 5-times more freshwater compared to East Asia
Despite its abundance of freshwater, at 15,000 cubic meter per person. Freshwater is not evenly distributed. Latin America has the highest volume of freshwater per-capita - more than 5-times as much as Sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia, and more than 20-times as much as South Asia and the Middle East.
While East Asia has a huge population which makes the freshwater per-capita figure look low, it’s clear Latin America has a lot of it.
4. Less than 50% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s rural population have access to a clean water source
We know freshwater is unevenly distributed across the globe, but there are differences in access within countries and regions.
An “improved water source” refers to something like a household connection, public standpipe, borehole, protected well or spring. “Unimproved sources” include vendors, tanker trucks, and unprotected wells and springs. “Reasonable access” is the availability of at least 20 liters of clean water per person per day from a source within one kilometer of a dwelling.
In 2000, less than 50% of people living in rural Sub-Saharan Africa had access to an improved water source. In urban areas, this figure is over 80%.
5. 3.4 million people die each year from water, sanitation, and hygiene-related causes
- 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.
- Lack of access to clean water and sanitation kills children at a rate equivalent of a jumbo jet crashing every four hours
- Of the 60 million people added to the world’s towns and cities every year, most move to informal settlements (i.e. slums) with no sanitation facilities.
- 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.
- More people have a mobile phone than a toilet.
According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 1.7 billion people still lack access to clean water. 2.3 billion people suffer from water-borne diseases each year.
source: wordbank.org, water.org