What makes clean water so important?

1. Unsafe water is the leading cause of sickness and death.

  • 3.41 million people die from water, sanitation and hygiene-related causes each year.
  • Half of the world's hospital beds are filled with people suffering from water related illnesses.
  • It is estimated that nearly 10% of the global disease burden could be reduced through improved water supply, sanitation, hygiene, and water resource management.

2. Water impacts everything.

  • Safe drinking water sends children (especially girls) back to school, empowers women, improves community health and fosters economic development.
  • In just one day, 200 million work hours are consumed by women collecting water for their families. This lost productivity is greater than the combined number of hours worked in a week by employees at Walmart, United Parcel Service, McDonald's, IBM, Target, and Kroger. - water.org
  • Without clean water and sanitation, it is impossible to address poverty, hunger or AIDS.

3. Nearly a billion people are in need.

  • 780 million people lack access to an improved water source, according to the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme.
    - That’s approximately three times the size of the USA.
  • One third of the people on earth lack adequate sanitation.
    - There are more cell phones in Asia and Africa than toilets.

4. Creating access to safe water for everyone is measurable and achievable.

  • Lack of access to safe water is not a technical problem – it is a human, logistics, funding and efficiency issue.
  • The world has the money to make it happen. In fact it would take 1/3 what the world spends on bottled water in one year to pay for projects providing water to everyone in need.
    - CBS News, FLOW the movie
  • It is estimated that lack of community involvement causes 50% of projects to fail.

5. The return on investment in water and sanitation is enormous.

For every $1 invested in water and sanitation, the United Nations Development Programme estimates a return of up to $8, depending on the region and technology.

"Getting clean water to rural villages is the most effective strategy to help the poor." - Christianity Today Report

Our members have been tracking, analyzing and sharing their water and sanitation project data on Blue Planet Network since 2006. This data set has grown to account for $45 million and is the world’s largest open access online source of water and sanitation project data. As it continues to grow, we will continue to develop ways to further unlock the learning within this data to increase its value for everyone working to eliminate the global water crisis. View more water resources.