• One billion people lack access to drinking water and 2.6 billion lack adequate health care system; most of the affected population lives in developing countries.
• Over 50% of wetlands in the world have disappeared in the last century.
• Most major rivers in the world have lost connectivity with the sea, and the remaining quarter will lose this connection within the next 15 years.
• Only a third of the 177 longest rivers (over 1,000 km) still maintain their natural course without being interrupted by dams or barriers.
• In the last 30 years the population of over 50% of species in freshwater ecosystems has declined; this loss is more rapid than in any other biome.
2. Which countries suffer the worst water crisis?
Much of the developing countries face this serious problem. In Africa, almost half the population suffers from diarrhea, one of the six diseases related to water consumption that kills millions of children around the world each year.
3. What are the main factors contributing to water crisis?
The main reasons include construction of dams without adequate planning and excessive irrigation. On average, agriculture has increased the use of freshwater, which is diverted from watersheds, by 70%.
Dams have divided 60% of major rivers around the world, causing displacement of 80 million people. Hundreds of dams are being built all over the globe and many others are being planned.
4. We know this is bad news but, is there anything we can do to fix this problem?
Yes, there are many things we can do. If we work hard to preserve our wetlands and rivers, which are the major sources of fresh water, there is hope for a positive future.
The main actions include:
• Saving water which is currently wasted for irrigation.
• Fixing our faucets so that there is no dripping.
• Improving the existing pipeline infrastructure.
• Stopping massive construction of dams.
5. What is WWF doing?
In the last eight years, WWF has helped preserve over 92 million hectares of wetlands critical as a source of water, food and habitat for aquatic life, all around the world.