Europe may take it for granted but the basic supply of clean water is a serious concern for much of the developing world. 1 out of 3 people globally do not have access to safe drinking water. A quarter of the world’s population lives in regions of extremely high water stress - when demand for fresh water exceeds availability. Climate change and population growth is making it worse: current scenarios say water stress could displace between 24 million and 700 million people by 2030.
On top of this over half of the global population lack safe sanitation and some 2 billion people use a drinking water source contaminated with faeces leading to diseases like cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio.
Water and sanitation for all is a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). Despite progress SDG 6 is still very much behind the 2030 targets. Data shows that we would need doubling our current annual rate of progress in order to achieve these targets. More efficient use and management of water resources in, for example, highly consuming sectors like agriculture and building and maintaining better infrastructure are critical to addressing the growing demand for water.