WASHINGTON, DC– By the time you finish reading this article, at least five children will have died because of diseases borne by dirty water. Indeed, there is no greater threat to humanity’s well-being than the ongoing water crisis, which is worsening as pollution and climate change, combined with accelerating growth in human population – forecast by the United Nations to reach 9.3 billion by 2050 – fuel a widening gap between supply and demand.
Water scarcity is largely the result of inadequate sanitation and a lack of necessary infrastructure to take water from rivers and aquifers. And it is estimated that, by 2025, half of the world’s people will not have enough water to meet their needs.
According to the World Health Organization, water-related diseases cause more than 3.4 million deaths annually – mostly children. One billion people worldwide do not have access to clean water, and more than two billion lack adequate sanitation.