Water is the foundation of life, yet nearly one billion people in the developing world do not have access to clean, safe drinking water.
There are several reasons for this, one of them being water scarcity. Water scarcity is more than just a lack of water; it is either a lack of access to safe water or a lack of sufficient water. In other words, there can be as much water as you could ever wish for, but unless that water is good quality drinking water it can actually do more harm than good. On the other hand, it helps not a whit that there is a gazillion litres of water nearby if it is inaccessible.
It is difficult for most of us to imagine not having enough water to prepare food, wash the dishes, do laundry or even to drink, but it is the reality for millions across the globe. In many areas, such as in the rural areas in the East and in sub-Saharan Africa, the lack of access to potable water is responsible for millions dying from water-borne diseases, especially children under the age of five. It is also responsible for limiting the economic potential of women and girls, who have to walk far to fetch water for the family every day, and many school-hours are lost to water-collection, illness and the inability for teenage girls to attend school at certain times of the month.
Where time is lost collecting water daily, it is known as economic water scarcity; where there is simply not enough water, it is known as physical water scarcity.
Access to potable water improves education, health, food security, and can break the cycle of poverty.