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.
- Some 1.8 million children die each year as a result of diarrhea
- 443 million school days are lost each year from water-related illness
- Access to piped water into the household averages about 85% for the wealthiest 20% of the population, compared with 25% for the poorest 20%.
- 1.8 billion people who have access to a water source within 1 kilometer, but not in their house or yard, consume around 20 liters per day. In the United Kingdom the average person uses more than 50 liters of water a day flushing toilets (where average daily water usage is about 150 liters a day. The highest average water use in the world is in the US, at 600 liters day.)
- Close to half of all people in developing countries suffer at any given time from a health problem caused by water and sanitation deficits
- Millions of women spending several hours a day collecting water
- To these human costs can be added the massive economic waste associated with the water and sanitation deficit.… The costs associated with health spending, productivity losses and labour diversions … are greatest in some of the poorest countries. Sub-Saharan Africa loses about 5% of GDP, or some $28.4 billion annually, a figure that exceeds total aid flows and debt relief to the region in 2003.
400 million children (1 in 5 from the developing world) have no access to safe water. 1.4 million children will die each year from lack of access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation.
A mere 12 percent of the world’s population uses 85 percent of its water, and these 12 percent do not live in the Third World.
“Already, corporations own or operate water systems across the globe that bring in about $200 billion a year. Yet they serve only about 7 percent of the world’s population, leaving a potentially vast market untapped.”