World Water Day 2022: The Current State of The Global Water Crisis


The Pacific Ocean, Bodega Bay, California, USA

As each day, month, and year passes, water issues around the world are continually changing. In our previous series of blog posts last spring, we took a deep dive into the global water crisis and its impact on women’s empowerment. One year later, we bring you updated information to address the state of water in 2022.


Water Stress & Vulnerability Around the World


In many countries and communities around the world, people do not have access to clean, safe drinking water “on-demand” like many of us do from our home faucets (though exceptions like in Flint, MI sadly are still all too common). Here are just of few of the current statistics related to access to clean water globally:

  • Over two billion people live in water-stressed countries, of which 733 million live in high and critically water-stressed areas [1]. This means that demand for safe, usable water in those countries exceeds the supply.

  • 1.42 billion people—including 450 million children—live in areas of high or extremely high water vulnerability [1].

  • 29% of people on earth do not have access to safe, usable water or another way to understand this is that 785 million people still lack access to safe drinking water [2].

Coming from a country with significant water infrastructure and a highly regulated water treatment system, it’s hard to believe that so many of our fellow human beings are not able to simply turn on a tap and drink a glass of safe water whenever they want.


Rio Paine, Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile

Safe Water & WASH Access


Despite water being essential for all life, we continue to be in the midst of a global water crisis. Nearly 1 million people die each year from water, sanitation, and hygiene-related diseases [2], and that number will increase if current water quality problems persist. These effects are far-reaching and bound to persist, because at least 144 million people still depend on potentially contaminated surface water, like a river, to meet their basic water needs [2].


On top of these drinking water concerns, 55% of people do not have access to safely managed sanitation globally [2]. Lacking access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) has potentially devastating impacts, ranging from issues such as increased negative health outcomes for children (diarrheal disease in particular), increased barriers to education (especially for females), continued gender inequality issues, decreased access to family planning options, and much more. The global water crisis is the root cause of all these unfortunate outcomes and is the subject of intensifying efforts to develop comprehensive, impactful solutions.


The Caribbean Sea, Saunder’s Beach, Nassau, The Bahamas

The World and Water Sustainability


In today’s global society we can no longer ignore that both Global South and Global North (formerly known as ‘developing’ and ‘developed’) countries are threatened by potentially devastating water quality and quantity issues. Billions of people continue to face some form of water stress and related water resource issues—which means that everyone needs to be invested in the behavior and societal changes needed to be part of the solution.


The problem is exponentially intensified by climate change, which is already causing weather related changes to the global water cycle. These impacts include increasing drought severity, larger and more destructive hurricanes, more severe tornadoes, increasingly frequent flooding, and out-of-control wildfires. The good news is that people around the world are increasingly acknowledging the impacts of water sustainability issues, and finally beginning to make some collaborative, cooperative efforts towards successful water management. These very visible (and often devastating for wealthy and impoverished communities alike) problems are serving to push governments, communities, and even individuals towards the creation of innovative water sustainability solutions.

Lake Michigan, Fort Sheridan North Beach, Lake Forest, Illinois, USA

WWSE Progress and Updates


Here at WaterWoman Sustainability Education, Inc. (WWSE) it’s been one year since our first fundraiser, which we launched on World Water Day 2021. Since then, we have continued to work towards the production of The Adventures of WaterWoman™ educational series for children and are currently looking for animators to help bring the first episode to life. Additionally, over the summer of 2021 we were lucky enough to work with Dr. Danny Pimentel at the University of Oregon to submit a grant through Snapchat to build WaterWoman as a virtual reality experience. While we are still searching for other traditional grant funding opportunities, we firmly believe in being flexible and embracing change as new opportunities present themselves. We encourage you to follow along with our progress on WaterWoman’s adventures and stay up to date with us in general by following our growing social media and digital presence.

The Dead Sea, Amman Beach, Jordan

About WaterWoman Sustainability Education, Inc.


At WaterWoman Sustainability Education, we aim to engage, educate and empower future generations to end the global water crisis. Through water sustainability education, we can get even closer to combating the impacts of water insecurity around the world. If you would like to support WWSE and WaterWoman’s mission, please make a contribution here in honor of World Water Day 2022.


Please stay tuned for future blog posts and Instagram content, and if you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing on your social media accounts. Be sure to visit our website for future posts and more information at waterwomanse.org.


References

  1. UN-Water. Water Scarcity. UN-Water. Accessed March 15, 2022. https://www.unwater.org/water-facts/scarcity/

  2. Water.org. Key Water.org Facts. Water.org. Accessed March 15, 2022. https://water.org/documents/184/FY21_Key_Water.org_facts.pdf

The Atlantic Ocean, Juno Beach, Florida, USA

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