What is water? Water connects every aspect of life. It is a fundamental human right. And yet, today, sadly 1 in 9 people lack access to safe drinking water. A further 1 in 3 lack access to any washroom facilities. This results in a child dying from water related diseases every 2 minutes.
Global crises such as climate change, war, geopolitical conflicts and rising prices mean this problem is getting worse. By 2025, half of the world’s population – 4 billion people – could be living in areas facing water insecurity and, by 2030, 700 million people are likely to be displaced by intense water scarcity.
The extent of this crisis is evident on the parched lips and dry tongues of children across the globe, but there is a hidden cost too. The lack of clean water prevents irrigation needed to grow crops and feed livestock, thereby causing hunger and misery. It makes it difficult to maintain a dignified standard of hygiene, resulting in worsening health prospects. It means women and vulnerable girls spend a combined 200 million hours every day in search of water. Time which could be used working, pursuing an education or simply enjoying a childhood. All this results in an estimated $260 billion in economic opportunity lost globally each year, keeping communities trapped in the vicious cycle of poverty.