Water is sustenance, an economic resource and is ecologically indispensible. Water also has social merit, bringing people together. But water isn’t inexhaustible. Only a tiny portion of the worldwide water resources are available for our use.
And since those limited resources are increasingly being accessed, related problems are starting to multiply: every sixth person in the world has no access to clean drinking water. Every third person lives without basic sanitation facilities. Each day, more than 4,000 people die from illnesses related to unclean water.
Add to this that worldwide agriculture requires three quarters of the water that humans extract from the cycle of nature. Wastewater from industries and agriculture contaminate rivers and groundwater reservoirs.
This water pollution and the over use of regenerative water resources are having a devastating effect on important ecosystems — the fragile systems in rivers and lakes are thrown into imbalance, groundwater levels are sinking and wetlands are drying up.
The reality of worldwide climate change aggravates the situation. In many regions of the world, the already scarce water supply is quickly decreasing to nothing. The more scarce water becomes, the more often the world will be threatened with conflict.
It is therefore one of the most important and urgent development challenges—with climate change strategies in mind—that we reach the goal of providing clean water to all people, especially to the world’s poorest populations.
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