Drinking water supply

Drinking water supply: What about the availability of drinking water?

Uneven distribution

ONLY ABOUT 2.5 PERCENT OF THE WATER ON EARTH IS FRESH WATER

There is an imbalance on the earth when it comes to water. There are 2.1 billion people worldwide who still do not have access to safe drinking water. In addition, according to UNICEF, more than 260 million people have to travel more than half an hour to get clean water.

Drinking water supply: Global fresh water distribution

GLOBAL WATER DISTRIBUTION

It is not only access to drinking water that is unequally distributed around the world. Those who deal with the water resources on our blue planet will quickly notice that the share of fresh water is small, it is only about 2.5% of the 1.37 trillion cubic meters of water on the earth's surface. Fresh water is therefore a scarce commodity and the availability of freshwater supplies is limited further. Only about a third of us have drinking water, for example in the form of groundwater, rivers, inland lakes and atmosphere. The rest is frozen and consists of ice or snow. Forty-nine percent of the usable fresh water is found in groundwater.  

Groundwater resources are present in areas depending on both climatic and geographical factors. More groundwater is formed in areas with higher rainfall, such as northern Europe and Central America. In areas with less precipitation, there is logically less groundwater available as a source of drinking water. 

GLOBAL DRINKING WATER AVAILABILITY

Individuals often have help when it comes to drinking water supplies. A secure and reliable supply of drinking water is still not a matter of course in some parts  of the  world. Today, for example, almost 160 million people drink untreated water from surface waters because they do not have access to groundwater sources or wells. According to UNICEF, access to safe drinking water is available when you have the opportunity to access clean and, if necessary, freely accessible drinking water at home. 30% of people worldwide do not have this access. 

Global availability of drinking water

But there is also good news: since the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals in 2000, many organisations have been working to improve access to safe drinking water in developing countries. 

The proportion of the world's population with access to improved drinking water supplies increased from 76 to 91 percent between 1990 and 2015. As a result, drinking water supplies improved worldwide for 2.6 billion people.   

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