Dirty Water Is Deadly.

The lack of safe drinking water is one of the leading causes of morbidity and morality in the developing world. Approximately 50% of all of the world's hospital beds are occupied from patients suffering from water-related illnesses [4]. These diseases are responsible for 4 billion cases of diarrheal disease annually, and roughly 760,000 annual deaths in children under five [8]. What's even more jarring is that each year, 1 in 5 children due to diarrhea - a death tool greater than those of AIDs, malaria, and measles combined. What if the solution to increasing clean water access costs less than $1 USD a day? 

Clean Water Is Scarce.

Clean, safe drinking water is scarce for the nearly 1.8 billion people who currently use a source of water contaminated with feces. They desperately need better water solutions [5,6]. Around the world, less than 50% of the population of 46 countries has access to a sanitation facility [1]. Currently, 14% of the world population (approximately 1 billion people) practice open defecation [1]. Moreover, 9 out of 10 people defecating openly live in rural areas -- away from sources of safe water [1]. 

This water scarcity has a profound effect on women and girls, a group already facing disparities around the world. Lack of clean water and sanitation prevents nearly 500 million women and girls from practicing menstrual hygiene management [2]. This results in infection, embarrassment, and overwhelming unease every month. In addition to these effects, the burden of finding water -- whether clean or not -- falls on women and girls. UNICEF estimates that women and girls spend 200 million hours every day collecting water. Imagine what would happen if clean water was easier to find? 

 

Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a lack of clean drinking water.

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References:

[1] World Health Organization, "Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water: 2014 Update and MDGAssessment", WHO Press, Geneva, 2014.
[2] World Health Organization, "Global Water Supply and Sanitation Assessment", Geneva, 2000.
[3] World Health Organization, “Diarrhoea: why children are still dying and what can be done”, WHO Press, Geneva, 2009
[4] United Nations Environment Programme, "Sick Water? The central role of wastewater management insustainable development", Birkeland Trykkeri, Birkeland, 2010.
[5] World Health Organization, "Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water: 2015 Update and MDGAssessment", WHO Press, Geneva, 2015.
[6] “Drinking-water", World Health Organization, 2016. [Online]. Available:http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs391/en/. [Accessed: 20- Mar- 2016].
[7] R. Jain, "Providing safe drinking water: a challenge for humanity", Clean Techn Environ Policy, vol. 14, no. 1,pp. 1-4, 2011.
[8] "Diarrhoeal disease", World Health Organization, 2016. [Online]. Available:http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs330/en/. [Accessed: 17- Mar- 2016].