The percentage of global population using at least a basic drinking water service rose from 81 to 89% between 2000 and 2015
3 out of 10 (2.1 billion; 29% global population) did not have a safely managed drinking water service in 2015
844 million still lacked even a basic drinking water service
Water-related deaths impact thousands and costs billions
In 2015, an estimated 2.1 billion people lacked access to safely managed drinking water services and 4.5 billion lacked access to safely managed sanitation services. (WWAP)
Almost half of people drinking water from unprotected sources live in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the burden of collecting water lies mainly on women and girls, many of whom spend more than 30 minutes on each trip to collect water. (WWAP)
Worldwide, only 2.9 billion people (39% of global population) used safely managed sanitation services in 2015. 40% of these people lived in rural areas.
2.1 billion people had access to “basic” sanitation services.
2.3 billion (one out of every three people) lacked even a basic sanitation service—nearly 1 billion people (892 million) still practiced open defecation.
Freshwater consumption and the global hydrological cycle
“The freshwater cycle is strongly affected by climate change and its boundary is closely linked to the climate boundary, yet human pressure is now the dominant driving force determining the functioning and distribution of global freshwater systems. The consequences of human modification of water bodies include both global-scale river flow changes and shifts in vapour flows arising from land use change. These shifts in the hydrological system can be abrupt and irreversible. Water is becoming increasingly scarce – by 2050 about half a billion people are likely to be subject to water-stress, increasing the pressure to intervene in water systems. A water boundary related to consumptive freshwater use and environmental flow requirements has been proposed to maintain the overall resilience of the Earth system and to avoid the risk of ‘cascading’ local and regional thresholds.” Stockholm Resilience Planetary Boundaries
Two control variables:
Global–Maximum amount of consumptive blue water use
4000 cubic km/year (4000-6000 km3/yr)
Regional (River Basin)–Blue water withdrawal as % of mean monthly river flow
Source: (Global Hydrological Cycle in the Anthropocene)This commonly reproduced image from the USGS of the averaged depiction of the hydrological cycle does not represent important seasonal and interannual variation in many pools and fluxes. A hydrologic cycle in the Anthropocene should include:
Include anthropogenic influences
Include global teleconnections
Estimates of green, blue, and grey water use
Estimates of Global Pools and Fluxes of Water
Based on the figures in the previous table, human appropriation (~24,000 km3yr-1) redistributes the equivalent of half of global river discharge or double global groundwater recharge
Irrigated agriculture is the largest water consumer, accounting for ~85-90% of water consumption, followed by industrial, and domestic water use
Global water consumption rose 40% between 1980 (~1,200km3) and 2016 (~1,700km3).
Global and Sectoral Water Consumption 2016
Top Six Water Stressed River Basins by Continent 2012-2016 5-year Index
In each continent, the basin is selected as the one having the
largest water stress index among the top 10% basins that have substantial
electricity generation, crops production, human population, livestock and dam
capacity in each continent.
Over 2 billion people live in countries experiencing high water stress. Recent estimates show that 31 countries experience water stress between 25% (which is defined as the minimum threshold of water stress) and 70%. Another 22 countries are above 70% and are therefore under serious water stress.
It has been estimated that about 4 billion people, representing nearly two-thirds of the world population, experience severe water scarcity during at least one month during the year.
Trends in Terrestrial Water Storage (TWS) April 2002-March 2016