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Water
The world's most essential commodity


Clean water is one of the most precious resources on earth. Only 3% of all water is freshwater with 77% of this locked up in ice caps and glaciers.
Clean water is life's most important basic necessity while dirty water is one of the deadliest killers.

A world thirsty for water justice
The world's water supply is unfairly divided. In the UK we usually have a limitless supply of water to drink, to bathe in, wash our dishes and water our gardens. It is also guaranteed clean and safe. For many in the world however turning on a tap and watching it pour clear clean water is simply a pipe dream. Millions of people are often many miles away from a source of water. Many people in the South, usually women and children, spend hours every day fetching and carrying water, because there is no water supply where they live.
 
Clean water - the key to health
It is inconceivable to us living in the UK that the water we drink and in which we wash would be anything but clean and safe. Yet an estimated 10 people die every minute from contaminated water. The World Health Organisation estimates that 80% of all sickness and disease in developing countries is due to unsafe water. In many countries surface water and water found in streams and lakes is deadly. It is home to all sorts of parasites and illnesses which kill millions of children worldwide and cause lives of misery to many more. In the UK and other western countries we are fortunate that we have had the money to build sewers and water treatment plants to ensure safe water and high levels of hygiene.
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Water access - millions go without
Two decades ago less than half the people of the developing world had access to safe, clean water. Now more than two-thirds have access to it. Whilst this is substantial progress, it means that nearly 2 billion people are still denied this most fundamental resource.
Water in short supply - who gets it?
It is estimated that a third of all the world's countries will soon be permanently short of water. Yet in many countries with a shortage of water the rich fill their swimming pools and have their golf courses watered while the poor struggle to get any water at all. And to make it worse, in many cities the rich get their water cheaply while the poor have to pay a much higher price for their miserably small allowance.

Also, big industrial or agricultural businesses often ruin people's water supply in the pursuit of profit by using water which could otherwise be used for local people's needs or by polluting their water supply.
   
Links
     


www.wateraid.org.uk



 
   
 

   
 
Project originally funded by EU and Dfid with support from Tower Hamlets LEA