Water Everywhere, but None Available to Drink

It enables life and our existence by providing the means to produce food, proper sanitation, bathing, drinking, and numerous other uses that are depended upon for daily life. Nearly all of the products we buy today use water in the production process in some varying degree

Roughly 70% of the earth is covered with water; however, according to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, 97.5% of the earth’s available water is saltwater leaving only 2.5% fresh, of which much is frozen. With specialists suggesting that 2.0% is in fact trapped in glaciers, this leaves just 0.5% of the world’s water readily accessible for human consumption.

The Consequences

With water usage rising at twice the rate of global population growth, clean, uncontaminated, and drinkable water is and will always be one of the worlds most precious and scarce resources. As a result, nearly 2 million children under the age of five-years-old die each year due to a lack of clean water and proper sanitation. Daily, millions of tons of inadequately treated sewage and waste are emptied into the world’s water supply resulting in contamination and pollution. According to the United Nations, “more people die as a result of polluted water than are killed by all forms of violence, including wars.”

With over half of the world’s hospital beds occupied by individuals suffering from illnesses linked to contaminated water, it is no doubt that one of the worlds greatest issues is how to provide fresh water to an ever-growing population where nearly 2 billion people live in countries where demand for water consumption exceeds the available supply.

Opportunity

With the global population continuing to grow exponentially each decade, the need and demand for fresh water will only continue to grow. In a matter of 40 years (1960 – 2000), global water use has doubled. For this reason, the Royal Bank of Canada and other sources are forecasting that global water infrastructure spending could grow as much as 6.7%

Water Footprint

A lot is made of our carbon footprint, but our water footprint is also important to take into consideration when it comes to the products we choose to purchase and the goods we consume. To learn more about how much water our daily activities and products actually use, take a look at the following websites: