Water itself is very simple. Two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen bonded together – a liquid that no living thing on this planet can do without.
But water as an issue is complex because water is connected to almost everything.
Here are just a few facts that show how crucial water is:
Water and Human RightsThe human right to safe drinking water was first recognized by the UN in 2010, reflecting the fact that access to water is critical to public health.
Water and UrbanizationIn urban areas, the main challenge is often a lack of access to basic services in informal settlements, or high prices and a lack of quality control of water from private vendors. (WHO, 2017)
Financing Water and SanitationFor every $1 invested in basic drinking water and sanitation, between $2.5 and $7 is returned in saved medical costs and increased productivity. (Hutton et al. 2015)
- WHO/UNICEF JMP report ‘Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene 2000-2017: Special focus on inequalities’ (WHO/UNICEF 2019)
- WHO WASH facts (WHO, 2019)
- SDG 6 Synthesis Report 2018 on Water and Sanitation (United Nations, 2018)
- WHO/UNICEF JMP report, Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (UNICEF/WHO 2018)
- UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (WHO, 2017)
- WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (JMP) – 2017 Update and SDG Baselines (WHO/UNICEF, 2017)
- The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017 (FAO/IFAD/UNICEF/WFP/WHO, 2017)
- United Nations World Water Development Report (UNESCO, 2017)
- UNICEF WASH facts (UNICEF, 2016)
- The Human Cost of Weather Related Disasters (UNISDR, 2015)
- Good Practices in Transboundary Water Cooperation (UNECE/UNESCO 2015)
- Future Water (In)Security: Facts, Figures and Predictions (Global Water Institute, 2013)