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.
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
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.
1 pair of jeans 8000 litres / 36369 gallons
Source: Unesco-IHE Institue for Water Education (2005) The Water Footprint for Cotton Consumption, p. 21
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
Source: Unesco-IHE Institue for Water Education (2010) The Green, Blue and Grey Water Footprint of Crops and Derived Crop Products, p. 16
Update: 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
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/
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
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
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
London and Mexico City are running out of water
Source: Circle of Blue:: Zeropolis – Big Cities, Little Water
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
Source: Journal of Science, Policy & Governance
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
Water will be the petroleum for the next century
Source: Goldman Sachs, Global Investment Report 2008
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).
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)
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
Source: WWAP (United Nations World Water Assessment Programme). 2017.
The United Nations World Water Development Report 2017.
Wastewater: The Untapped Resource. Paris, UNESCO.
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
Source: UNESCO, 2021. UN World Water Development Report: Valuing Water, p. 13
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.
Cities lose up to 60% of pumped water
Source: GWI Water Data Report 2019
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
Source: United Nations World Water Assessment Programme, OECD 2016, Financial Management of Flood Risk, World Meteorological Organization Integrated Drought Management Programme)
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
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)
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
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
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
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
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)