The Global Water Crisis

If you took a shower this morning, brushed your teeth, or filled your glass from the tap without worrying if the water was clean, consider yourself lucky. Here are just a few examples of how lack of access to clean water affects people around the world.

  • 1 out of every 9 people don’t have access to safe drinking water (including 2 million people in the U.S.).
  • Contaminated water can cause diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, typhoid, and hepatitis A.
  • At least 485,000 people die each year from diarrhea caused by contaminated water.

Flint, Michigan

In 2015, Flint’s water was found to contain three times the amount of lead necessary to be classified as hazardous waste. Residents contracted lead poisoning and other illnesses from drinking the city’s water.

Puerto Rico

One million people lacked running water for over a month after Hurricane Maria knocked out power to the island’s water treatment plant in 2017.

Sub-Saharan Africa

More than 70 million people get their drinking water from untreated lakes, ponds, and streams.


In rural areas, women walk 3-12 miles each day to bring clean water for cooking, cleaning, and washing to their villages.

According to the World Health Organization, by 2025, half the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas, where the demand for clean water exceeds the available supply. Go to or for tips on how to raise awareness in your school about the water crisis.

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