Water and its availability is a major social and economic concern.
Currently, about 1 billion people around the world routinely drink unhealthy water.
Most countries accepted the goal of halving by 2015 the number of people worldwide who do not have access to safe water and sanitation during the 2003 G8 Evian summit. Even if this difficult goal is met, it will still leave more than an estimated half a billion people without access to safe drinking water supplies and over 1 billion without access to adequate sanitation facilities.
Poor water quality and bad sanitation are deadly!
some 5 million deaths a year are caused by polluted drinking water. Water, however, is not a finite resource - like petroleum is, but rather re-circulated as potable water in precipitation in quantities many degrees of magnitude higher than human consumption.
Therefore, it is the relatively small quantity of water in reserve in the earth!
About 1% of our drinking water supply, which is replenished in aquifers around every 1 to 10 years, that is a non-renewable resource, and it is, rather, the distribution of potable and irrigation water which is scarce, rather than the actual amount of it that exists on the earth.
Water-poor countries use importation of goods as the primary method of importing water (to leave enough for local human consumption), since the manufacturing process uses around 10 to 100 times products' masses in water.
In the developing world, 90% of all wastewater still goes untreated into local rivers and streams.
Some 50 countries, with roughly a third of the world’s population, also suffer from medium or high water stress, and 17 of these extract more water annually than is recharged through their natural water cycles . The strain affects surface freshwater bodies like rivers and lakes, but it also degrades groundwater resources.
"To the people of poor nations, we
pledge to work alongside you to make
your farms flourish and LetCleanWatersFlow, to nourish starved
bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy
relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to
suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources
without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change
with it". Source: President Obama, Inaugural Speech, January 20, 2009, Washington, DC, USA.