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10 facts about Water Scarcity

  1. Water scarcity occurs even in areas where there is plenty of rainfall or freshwater. How water is conserved, used and distributed in communities, and the quality of the water available can determine if there is enough to meet the demands of households, farms, industry and the environment.
  2. Water scarcity affects one in three people on every continent of the globe. The situation is getting worse as needs for water rise along with population growth, urbanization and increases in household and industrial uses.
  3. Almost one fifth of the world’s population (about 1.2 billion people) live in areas where the water is physically scarce. One quarter of the global population also live in developing countries that face water shortages due to a lack of infrastructure to fetch water from rivers and aquifers.
  4. Water scarcity forces people to rely on unsafe sources of drinking water. It also means they cannot bathe or clean their clothes or homes properly.
  5. Poor water quality can increase the risk of such diarrhea diseases as cholera, typhoid fever and dysentery, and other water-borne infections. Water scarcity can lead to diseases such as trachoma (an eye infection that can lead to blindness), plague and typhus.
  6. Water scarcity encourages people to store water in their homes. This can increase the risk of household water contamination and provide breeding grounds for mosquitoes – which are carriers of dengue fever, malaria and other diseases.
  7. Water scarcity underscores the need for better water management. Good water management also reduces breeding sites for such insects as mosquitoes that can transmit diseases and prevents the spread of water-borne infections such as schistosomiasis, a severe illness.
  8. A lack of water has driven up the use of wastewater for agricultural production in poor urban and rural communities. More than 10% of people worldwide consume foods irrigated by wastewater that can contain chemicals or disease-causing organisms.
  9. Millennium Development Goal number 7, target 10 aims to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. Water scarcity could threaten progress to reach this target.
  10. Water is an essential resource to sustain life. As governments and community organizations make it a priority to deliver adequate supplies of quality water to people, individuals can help by learning how to conserve and protect the resource in their daily lives.world water shortage

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