Why does water matter?

21 Mar 2016

Yes, why does it matter? That may seem like a silly question, because of course it matters! Today, on World Water Day 2016, we want to highlight the role clean water plays in health, education and livelihoods.

Why does water matter? That may seem like a silly question, because of course it matters!

We’re made of water – it’s 66% of the human body.
We’re surrounded by water - it covers 71% of the Earth's surface.
We consume it at an average rate of 150 litres a day, at least in Europe and the US.

Water is a necessity of life. Obviously.

So why are 783 million people deprived of access to clean water?
Why are 2.3 billion people deprived of access to proper sanitation?

Without access to clean water, billions of hours of work and school are wasted, mainly by women and girls, walking to fetch water from streams and tributaries. Poor people cannot work due to water-related illnesses, health systems are overwhelmed and national economies suffer.
Without clean water the cycle of poverty continues and sustainable development simply isn’t possible.

Water is the most important basic human need and its lack is a major limit to economic growth.

To widen access to water and sanitation, we fund a wide range of programmes and work with many partners, involving families, communities, governments and organizations to ensure that responses are effective and sustainable.