Click on the tabs above for a statistical view of the world's water

SUPPLY


The Amazon River in Venezuela a vast but remote freshwater supply

The amount of water on Earth is fixed. Less than 0.01% of the planet's 1.4 billion cubic kilometres is easily accessible freshwater in lakes and rivers.

 


Agriculture is the world's biggest water guzzler it takes at least 2,000 litres to produce enough food for one person for one day

Global water use has tripled since 1950 and has been increasing faster than the world's population. Much of the water extracted ends up wasted.

 


About one third of the world's population lives water-stressed countries - set to increase to two-thirds within 25 years

Africa and Asia are already hard-hit by water stress. Increasing populations will create more pressure in the coming decades.

 


Recommended basic daily domestic requirement per person (litres):

Drinking

5

Sanitation

20

Bathing

15

Cooking

10

Total

50

 

Most people without clean water live in developing countries. People in rich countries use ten times more water each day than those in poor countries.


The Hoover Dam on the Colorado river - there are 45,000 big dams in the world, nearly half are in China and more than 6,000 are in the US

 

Last century saw a dam-building boom - but the pace has slowed as many doubt that the benefits outweigh the human and environmental costs.