Clean water

Clean water

How can everyone have sufficient clean water without conflict?


Over 2.3 billion more people have gained access to safe drinking water since 1990. The MDG (United Nations Millennium Development Goals) goal of halving the number of people without access to improved drinking water was achieved in 2010. This is an extraordinary achievement, but it still leaves 748 million without this access today, and many more lack a sustainable water supply. Because of falling water tables around the world, climate change, various forms of water pollution, and population growth, some of those with safe water today may not have it in the future unless significant changes are made. Some 1.8 billion people gained access to improved sanitation facilities since 1990, but 2.5 billion still lack access, missing the MDG goal by 1 billion people.

The World Economic Forum in 2015 highlighted the water crisis as the top global risk based on Impact to society and the eighth global risk based on likelihood. The faster the recommendations in this report are implemented, the less suffering, disease, and conflict will occur; however, progress is not yet on the scale necessary to meet the water needs of humanity and nature. Although groundwater reminds the primary source of drinking water worldwide, it is being depleted; its use is growing twice as fast as human population growth over the past century. Water tables are falling in many areas around the world; for example, it is falling 1 meter per year in several areas of India. Aquifers are becoming increasingly polluted, and the salinity in some coastal areas is increasing.


06 May 2017



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