Water is essential for life. Access to clean water and sanitation can save lives, break the cycle of poverty, and bring economic opportunities to entire communities.
The Global Water Crisis
Lack of access to clean water is the number one cause of death and disease in the world. It’s also the simplest to address – give people access to clean water.
The global water crisis is not just a crisis about water – it’s also an economic crisis, a health crisis, and an education crisis that robs people of their futures.
- 1 in 4 people do not have access to safe drinking water
- 200 million people spend more than 30 minutes every day collecting water
- Half of all schools around the world lack handwashing facilities
- 900 million people lack basic sanitation and still defecate in the open
- 2 billion people drink water contaminated with human waste
- Over 800 children around the world die every day from water-related diseases
- The pandemic has made addressing all of these challenges much harder
The Cost to Women and Children
The water crisis is personal for women and children.
In many families, they bear the primary responsibility for water collection which leaves little time for work, school, or to care for their families.
- Women and girls spend a collective 200 million hours every day collecting water and 266 million more looking for a place to relieve themselves
- 44 million pregnant women suffer infections related to poor sanitation
- Births without proper hygiene measures in place lead to 1 million deaths every year
- 297,000 children under 5 die each year from diarrhea caused by poor access to clean water and sanitation
The Climate Crisis
The global water crisis is being amplified by the climate crisis.
Rising temperatures introduce pathogens into water sources while climate disasters contaminate water supplies and increase the risk of water-related diseases.
- 74% of natural disasters in the last 20 years have been water-related
- 500 million children already live where there is high risk of flooding due to cyclones, hurricanes, storms, and rising sea levels
- 2 billion people will live in areas at risk of flooding by 2050
- Water scarcity will displace up to 700 million people by 2030
- Over 3 billion people will live in places facing severe water scarcity by 2050
Canada's Commitment to Clean Water
Canadians know the value of water.
From coast-to-coast-to-coast, we rely on our water systems to provide clean drinking water, to travel between communities, and to power our homes and our industries. We spend our summers in our rivers, lakes, and oceans and our winters skating on rivers, lakes, and at community rinks.
- The Great Lakes contain 21% of total surface fresh water in the world
- 9% of the world’s renewable water flows through Canadian rivers
- Canada has 8 million freshwater lakes – more than every other country combined
- 14% of Canada’s total surface area is covered by wetlands
- 8 million litres of water flow over Niagara Falls every second
How You Can Help
Each of us has the power to share the gift of clean water. Tackling the global water crisis is pretty simple: give people the tools they need to access clean water.
Water Ambassadors Canada has provided sustainable clean water solutions around the world since 2002. With the right tools in place, we can deliver the 50 litres of clean water each person needs every day to meet their basic needs. Join us!