Archive for Facts and figures

Did you know…? Facts and figures about trends in water use


  • With rapid population growth, water withdrawals have tripled over the last 50 years.
  • This trend is explained largely by the rapid increase in irrigation development stimulated by food demand in the 1970s and by the continued growth of agriculture-based economies. Read more

The scale of the water problem

The 2006 United Nations Human Development Report, notes the following: (See pages 6, 7, 35. Emphasis Added)

  • Some 1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to water
  • 2.6 billion people lack basic sanitation
    • Lack of water is closely related to poverty:
    • Almost two in three people lacking access to clean water survive on less than $2 a day, with one in three
    • living on less than $1 a day
    • More than 660 million people without sanitation live on less than $2 a day, and more than 385 million on less than $1 a day. Read more

Facts and figures about water and demographic drivers

  • The world’s population is growing by about 80 million people a year, implying increased freshwater demand of about 64 billion cubic metres a year.
  • An estimated 90% of the 3 billion people who are expected to be added to the population by 2050 will be in developing countries, many in regions where the current population does not have sustainable access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation. Read more

Did you know…? Facts and figures about World Water Day

  • 828 million people live in slums or informal settlements that are scattered around the world’s cities; the biggest challenge is to provide these people with adequate water and sanitation facilities.
  • The urban poor pay up to 50 times more for a liter of water than their richer neighbours, since they often have to buy their water from private vendors.
  • Due to rapid urbanization, cities face a growing demand for water and sanitation services. To meet this demand, cities are going deeper and further, which leads to over-exploitation of water resources.
  • Pollution typically refers to chemicals or other substances in concentrations greater than would occur under natural conditions. Read more

Did you know…? Facts and figures about water and cities (part 2) in honor of the upcoming World Water Day

  • Every second, the urban population grows by 2 people.
  • 95% of the urban expansion in the next decades will take place in the developing world.
  • In Africa and Asia, the urban population is expected to double between 2000 and 2030.
  • Between 1998 and 2008, 1052 million urban dwellers gained access to improved drinking water and 813 million to improved sanitation. However, the urban population in that period grew by 1089 million people and thus undermined the progress. Read more