Water Shortage Due to Climate Change

Queuing for Water, Natalya Critchley

Versión en español

Global Water Access

The current situation of water access in the world is critical. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, approximately 785 million people lack basic drinking water services, and 2.2 billion people lack access to safe drinking water. Furthermore, an estimated 4.2 billion people lack safely managed sanitation services. These statistics highlight the magnitude of the crisis and the urgent need to take action to improve access to clean water and sanitation facilities. This lack of access to clean water has several negative consequences, including:

  • Increased risk of disease: People who do not have access to clean water are more likely to get sick from diarrhea, cholera, typhoid fever, and other waterborne diseases. Diarrheal disease is responsible for the deaths of approximately 485,000 children under the age of five each year.
  • Poor health: People who do not have access to clean water often have poor health overall. They are more likely to be malnourished and underweight, and they are more likely to die from preventable diseases.
  • Economic hardship and social isolation: People who do not have access to clean water often have to spend a lot of time and money collecting water. Women and girls are disproportionately affected by the water crisis, as they are often responsible for collecting water for their families. In many cases, this involves walking long distances to collect water from unsafe sources, which can take up to six hours a day. The time and energy required to collect water often prevent women and girls from attending school or participating in income-generating activities, perpetuating the cycle of poverty.

The water crisis is a global problem but particularly acute in developing countries. In these countries, climate change, population growth, and poverty often exacerbate water scarcity. The water crisis is a major threat to sustainable development, and it is essential that we take action to address it. This lack of access to water is a significant challenge for public health, economic development, and environmental sustainability.

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