Without water, life would not exist. It is a prerequisite for all human and economic development.
Yet today, nearly one billion people – about one in eight – lack access to clean water. More than twice that many, 2.5 billion people, don’t have access to a toilet.
There has been significant public attention paid to the issue of water scarcity lately, and for good reason. Although water is a renewable resource, it is also a finite one. Only 2.53 percent of earth’s water is fresh, and some two-thirds of that is locked up in glaciers and permanent snow cover. But despite the very real danger of future global water shortages, for the vast majority of the nearly one billion people without safe drinking water, today’s water crisis is not an issue of scarcity, but of access.
A Common Struggle
In most developed nations, we take access to safe water for granted. But this wasn’t always the case. A little more than 100 years ago, New York, London and Paris were centers of infectious disease. Child death rates were as high then as they are now in much of Sub-Saharan Africa. It was sweeping reforms in water and sanitation that enabled human progress to leap forward. It should come as no surprise that in 2007, a poll by the British Medical Journal found that clean water and sanitation comprised the most important medical advancement since 1840.
The health and economic impacts of today’s global water crisis are staggering.
•More than 3.5 million people die each year from water-related disease; 84 percent are children. Nearly all deaths, 98 percent, occur in the developing world.
•Lack of access to clean water and sanitation kills children at a rate equivalent of a jumbo jet crashing every four hours.
•Lack of sanitation is the world’s biggest cause of infection.
•Millions of women and children spend several hours each day collecting water from distant, often polluted sources. This is time not spent working at an income-generating job, caring for family members, or attending school.
•443 million school days are lost each year due to water-related illness.
The Good News
We know how to bring people clean water and improved sanitation. We’re not waiting for a magic cure. And the solutions are simple and cost-effective. On average, every US dollar invested in water and sanitation provides an economic return of eight US dollars. For only $25, Water.org can bring someone access to clean water for life.
Water.org co-founder Matt Damon and his guerrilla effort to promote the perfect holiday gift: the gift of clean water
With each purchase of a limited edition Water.org CamelBak Groove bottle, you give a life-changing gift. While it keeps great-tasting filtered water always in your reach, it also brings safe drinking water and sanitation to people in developing countries.
•$10 from every bottle purchased supports Water.org
•Feature a limited-edition design
•Environmentally friendly and a great gift
The CamelBak Groove bottle is 100% BPA-free, holds 20 oz, is dishwasher safe, and features the patented CamelBak Big Bite Valve. In partnership with Amazon.com, this year you qualify for free domestic standard shipping with each order.
To learn more visit: www.water.org