A basic human right

The UN states that access to clean water is a basic human right

Source: UN General Assembly and the Human Rights Council, 2010.
Link: https://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/docs/a-65-53-add1.pdf
Link: https://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/64/292
Link: https://www.unwater.org/water-facts/human-rights/

Water Footprint

1 cotton T-shirt 2500 litres / 11365 gallons

Source: Unesco-IHE Institue for Water Education (2005) The Water Footprint for Cotton Consumption, p. 21.

Update: 2700 litres / 713 gallons
Source: WWF
Link: https://www.worldwildlife.org/magazine/issues/spring-2014/articles/handle-with-care (2014)

Update: 2799 litres/4226,7 gallons
Source: Hildebrandt, 2016. Bæredygtig Global Udvikling, ch. 6, p. 178.
Link: https://waterfootprint.org/media/downloads/Report18.pdf 

1 pair of jeans 8000 litres / 36369 gallons

Source: Unesco-IHE Institue for Water Education (2005) The Water Footprint for Cotton Consumption, p. 21
Link: https://waterfootprint.org/media/downloads/Report18.pdf
Link: https://waterfootprint.org/en/water-footprint/personal-water-footprint/

1 avocado 227 litres / 1032 gallons

Source: Unesco-IHE Institue for Water Education (2010) The Green, Blue and Grey Water Footprint of Crops and Derived Crop Products, p. 20
Link: https://waterfootprint.org/media/downloads/Report47-WaterFootprintCrops-Vol1.pdf
Link: https://waterfootprint.org/en/about-us/news/news/grace-launches-new-water-footprint-calculator/

1 bottle of wine 630 litres / 2864 gallons

Source: Unesco-IHE Institue for Water Education (2010) The Green, Blue and Grey Water Footprint of Crops and Derived Crop Products, p. 16
Link: https://waterfootprint.org/media/downloads/Report47-WaterFootprintCrops-Vol1.pdf 

1 bottle of wine 720 liters

Source: Hildebrandt, 2016. Bæredygtig Global Udvikling, ch. 6, p. 178.

Through production and consumption of food and goods we leave our biggest water footprint
Source: World Water Council & United Nations Water UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Consumption

Water Scarcity

Four billion people, or about 50% of the global population, live under conditions of severe water scarcity at least one month of the year. Half a billion people face severe water scarcity every day. This amount is projected to increase drastically towards 2050. 

Source:  UNESCO, 2020. UN World Water Development Report 2020, p. 20-24; Mekonnen & Hoekstra, 2016. Four billion people facing severe water scarcity, p. 1. Link: https://www.unwater.org/publications/world-water-development-report-2020/
Link: https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/2/2/e1500323

Access to safe water

2.2 billion people live without access to safe water, of which the majority live in the least developed countries. 

Sources: Unicef & WHO, 2019. Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene. 2000-2017, p. 49  

Update: 2 billion people, more than one quarter of the world’s population, live without safely managed water services.

Source: UN-Water, 2021. Summary Progress Update 2021: SDG 6 — water and sanitation for all, p. 12;
Link: SDG-6-Summary-Progress-Update-2021_Version-July-2021a.pdf (unwater.org)

Source: 2030 Water Resources Group, 2021. 2021 Annual Report: From Dialogue to Action, the Road to 2030, p. 11.
Link: WRG-Annual-Report_2021_Final-VDec.pdf (2030wrg.org)

Note on definitions:
Safe water access: Drinking water from an improved water source that is located on premises, available when needed and free from faecal and priority chemical contamination (‘improved’ sources include: piped water, boreholes or tube wells, protected dug wells, protected springs, rainwater, and packaged or delivered water).

Access to safe water

One out of four persons live without access to safe water

Source: Washdata.org
Link: https://washdata.org/sites/default/files/2022-01/jmp-2021-wash-households-highlights.pdf, p. 8

Today, more than 2 billion people are affected by water stress.

Sources: United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6, UNWD Report 2018, page 14

By 2050, 40% of the world’s population is projected to live under severe water stress.

Source: UNWD 2020
Link: https://www.unwater.org/publications/world-water-development-report-2020/

Access to basic water

785 million people live without even basic water access.

Sources: Unicef & WHO, 2019. Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene. 2000-2017, p. 6 

Note on definitions:
Basic water access: Drinking water from an improved source, provided collection time is not more than 30 minutes for a round trip, including queuing 

Update: 771 million people, around 9.7% of the world’s population, lack access to basic water sources. Half of the population lacking basic water services live in sub-Saharan Africa. It will require a doubling of current rates of progress to reach universal access to basic drinking water by 2030.

Source: UN-Water, 2021. Summary Progress Update 2021: SDG 6 — water and sanitation for all, p. 12; WHO and UNICEF, 2021. Progress on Household Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, p. 29.

Cities of risk of running out of drinking water

Water scarcity in Mexico City

Source: Circle of Blue: Floods and Water Shortages Swamp Mexico City
Link: https://www.circleofblue.org/2018/latin-america/floods-water-shortages-swamp-mexico-city/ 

London and Mexico City are running out of water

Source: Circle of Blue:: Zeropolis – Big Cities, Little Water
Link: https://www.circleofblue.org/zeropolis/ 

Los Angeles, water scarcity

Due to severe water scarcity, Los Angeles imports more water than any other large city in the world, as water imports make up a full 80% of the city’s total water use.

Source: Curbed, Las Angeles
Link: https://la.curbed.com/2018/2/6/16960006/los-angeles-cape-town-water-shortage-drought

Source: Journal of Science, Policy & Governance
Link: https://www.sciencepolicyjournal.org/article_1038126_jspg170202.html

Cities in risk of water crisis

Source: WRI – World Research Institute - Aqueduct™
Link: https://www.wri.org/ap plications/aqueduct/water-risk-atlas/#/?advanced=false&basemap=hydro&indicator=a7c3ffe1-aa0e-46ed-b947-d3cbafa2a5d1&lat=32.7688004848817&lng=-52.20703125000001&mapMode=view&month=1&opacity=0.5&ponderation=DEF&predefined=false&projection=absolute&scenario=business_as_usual&scope=future&timeScale=annual&year=2030&zoom=3

Source: BBC, University of Arizona, UNESCO and SOSNPO
Link: https://www.w12-congress.com/about-the-w12/ 
Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-42982959

Water will be the petroleum for the next century

Source: Goldman Sachs, Global Investment Report 2008 
Link: https://www.smh.com.au/world/water-the-petrol-of-the-21st-century-as-world-faces-dire-shortages-20080605-2m9k.html
Link: https://fsgjournal.nl/article/2019-04-30-water-the-commodity-of-the-21st-century

Shortfall of water supply

Business-as-usual will lead to a 40% gap between fresh water supply and demand by 2030

Source World Bank (2018).
Link: http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/water/overview

Source: World Economic Forum, 2021. We’re helping closing the gap between global water demand and supply.
Link: We’re helping to close the gap between global water demand and supply | World Economic Forum (weforum.org)

Water quality

1,000 children under the age of 5 die every day as a result of unsafe drinking water, poor sanitation and hygiene.

Source: Prüss-Ustün et al., 2014. Burden of disease from inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene in low and middle‐income settings: a retrospective analysis of data from 145 countries, p. 1
Link: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/tmi.12329

Source: WWAP (United Nations World Water Assessment Programme). 2017.
The United Nations World Water Development Report 2017.
Wastewater: The Untapped Resource. Paris, UNESCO.
Link: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000247153 
Link: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/water-and-sanitation/


80% of all wastewater returns to the environment without proper treatment.

Source: WWAP, 2017 (United Nations World Water Assessment Programme). 2017. Link: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000247153 

Source: The United Nations World Water Development Report 2020. Wastewater: The Untapped Resource. Paris, UNESCO, p. 2
Link: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/water-and-sanitation/

Source: UNESCO, 2021. UN World Water Development Report: Valuing Water, p. 13
Link: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000375724/PDF/375724eng.pdf.multi

Quangzhou: pollution
In 2015, Guangzhou produced more than 1.6 billion tons of wastewater, from which microplastics were released into the Pearl River through sewage discharge, runoff, and industrial wastewater. The amount of plastic waste discharged annually from the Pearl River into the South China Sea is estimated to be about 136,000 tons.

Source: MDPI
Link: https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/13/5/2691

Non-revenue water

Cities lose up to 60% of pumped water

Source: GWI Water Data Report 2019
Link: https://www.gwiwaterdata.com/data-hub/utilities 

Globally, we are losing an average of 30% of all pumped fresh water

Source: Quantifying the global non-revenue water problem, R. Liemberger and A. Wyatt, p. 834
Link: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Alan_Wyatt/publication/326238463_Quantifying_the_global_non-revenue_water_problem/links/5e9df9e54585150839ef34b8/Quantifying-the-global-non-revenue-water-problem.pdf?origin=publication_detail

Globally, an average of 30% of all pumped water never reaches the tap. In many cities, the water loss is even higher and reaches 60%. The water is lost due to both leakages and theft. A few examples of non-revenue water (NRW) by country are: United Kingdom: 21%; Mexico: 40%; United States: 20%; Sweden: 40%; Liberia: 49%; Armenia: 89%; China: 21%; Venezuela: 62%.

Source: Liemberger & Wyatt, 2019. Quantifying the global non-revenue water problem – Appendix19; GWI, n.d. Utilities Database20.
Link: https://iwaponline.com/ws/article/19/3/831/41417/Quantifying-the-global-non-revenue-water-problem

Source: GWI (Global Water Intel) (2019). Utilities Database.
Link: https://www.gwiwaterdata.com/data-hub/utilities (NB gated content; Contact Grundfos if necessary)

Examples of non-revenue water (NRW) per country are

United Kingdom 21%, Mexico 40%, United States 20%, Sweden 40%, Liberia 49%, Armenia 83%, China 21% and Venezuela 62%.
Source: R. Liemberger;  A. Wyatt : Quantifying the global non-revenue water problem, Appendix
Link: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Alan_Wyatt/publication/326238463_Quantifying_the_global_non-revenue_water_problem/links/5e9df9e54585150839ef34b8/Quantifying-the-global-non-revenue-water-problem.pdf?origin=publication_detail


Water disasters

Flooding affects approximately 250 million people worldwide and causes USD 40 billion in losses on an annual basis.

Source: OECD 2016 - Financial Management of Flood Risk, p. 9
Link: https://www.oecd.org/daf/fin/insurance/OECD-Financial-Management-of-Flood-Risk.pdf

Update: From 2009-2019 floods alone caused nearly 55,000 deaths, affected another 103 million people and caused 76.8 billion USD in economic losses. Floods and extreme rainfall have globally increased by more than 50% over the past decade.

Source: UNESCO, 2021. UN World Water Development Report 2021: Valuing water, p. 15
Link: The United Nations world water development report 2021: valuing water - UNESCO Digital Library

Source: UNESCO, 2018. UN World Water Development Report 2018 - Nature-based solutions for water, p. 3.
Link: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000261424/PDF/261424eng.pdf.multi

Climate change will cause heavier rainfalls leading to floods and inflow of seawater

Source: WWAP (United Nations World Water Assessment Programme)/UN-Water. 2018. The United Nations World Water Development Report 2018: Nature-Based Solutions for Water. Paris, UNESCO.
Link: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000261424

Source: United Nations World Water Assessment Programme, OECD 2016, Financial Management of Flood Risk, World Meteorological Organization Integrated Drought Management Programme)

Istanbul, flooding

Source: UN Convention of Climate Change, 2018, p. 144-45, 156
Link: 14936285_Turkey-NC7-2-Seventh National Communication of Turkey.pdf (unfccc.int)




By 2050 2.5 billion more people are expected to live in cities, which accounts for 68% of the population. Nearly 90% of this increase is expected to take place in Africa and Asia.

Source: United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Link: https://www.un.org/development/desa/en/news/population/2018-revision-of-world-urbanization-prospects.html

Consumer behavior

Changes in consumer behavior and consumption patterns are expected to increase demand for water and energy by approximately 40% and 50% respectively by 2030.

Source: The European Commission: growing Consumerism
Link: https://ec.europa.eu/kno wledge4policy/foresight/topic/growing-consumerism_en

Source: UNESCO, 2017. UN World Water Development Report, Wastewater: The Untapped Resource, p. 49.
Link: The United Nations world water development report, 2017: Wastewater: the untapped resource; 2017 - 247153eng.pdf (unesco.org)


Space cooling

Energy consumption for space cooling in buildings has doubled since 2000

Source: International Energy Agency (IEA) Energy Efficiency 2018 – Analysis and outlooks to 2040. IEA Market Report Series, sixth edition, p. 92
Link: https://webstore.iea.org/market-report-series-energy-efficiency-2018 
Link: https://www.iea.org/fuels-and-technologies/cooling

Emissions and climate change

Energy production accounts for 73% of CO2 emission – playing a critical role in climate change.

Source: United Nations Water
Source: World Resource Institute
Link https://www.wri.org/blog/2020/02/greenhouse-gas-emissions-by-country-sector


Energy consumptions from buildings

40% of the EU’s entire energy consumption comes from buildings, making them the largest energy consumer*. With more intelligent and energy efficient solutions in buildings, we can change this.

Source: European Commission Energy Performance of Buildings Directive
Link: https://ec.europa.eu/info/news/focus-energy-efficiency-buildings-2020-feb-17_en

Water consumption industries

Today, industries account for nearly 20% of all water consumption

Source: UNESCO (2012) United Nations world water development report 4: managing water under uncertainty and risk
Link: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000215644
Link: http://www.fao.org/aquastat/en/overview/methodology/water-use

Source: UN-Water, 2021. Summary Progress Update 2021: SDG 6 — water and sanitation for all, p. 23
Source: FAO, 2020. The State of Food and Agriculture 2020 – Executive Summary, p. 7
Link: The State of Food and Agriculture 2020 (fao.org)