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Water Facts

  • The second leading cause of death among children around the world is diarrhea. *
  • 4,100 children under the age of 5 die every day from unclean drinking water.
  • Over 90% of deaths from diarrhea-driven diseases in the developing world today occur in children ages 0-4 years.
  • 1 billion + people (of ~7 billion alive) have no access to clean drinking water. Others have limited access.
  • 42% of the world's population (2.6 billion people) live in families without proper means of sanitation.


  • The UN/Unicef has said that more people die from unsafe water than from all forms of violence, including war. **
  • The ancient Romans had better water quality than half the people alive now.
  • Disease spreads quickly in a village of 1,000 people when 400 of which do not have access to a latrine or water for hygiene.
  • The world health organization indicates that for every dollar invested in clean drinking water there is a $5 - $50 return on investment (average $12). When people are healthy, they can go to school, work, raise their families, etc.
  • Young girls are missing school because neither their school or homes have adequate drinking water and sanitation facilities (including separate school latrines for girls and boys), limiting their chances of escaping their families' poverty.
  • Safe water is especially important for pregnant women in order to protect her and her baby from serious diseases, such as diarrhea, malaria, measles, and hepatitis. Sick children consume a considerable part of a woman's time, disabling her from performing other activities.
  • Improved water quality and hygiene interventions including hygiene education and promotion of hand washing leads to a reduction of diarrhea cases by 45%.


A solution to this problem will not only provide clean drinking water, but will also address issues of disease, mortality, and poverty. The World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that it would take 20 billion per year to provide clean drinking water for everyone around the world and solve this problem. To put this in perspective, America spends 20 billion per year on ice cream alone. You can save a child's life by taking our Ice Cream Challenge! ice cream For a collection of staggering facts and resources, check out this PDF entitled, "Water for Life" from the World Health Organization. Download Now (PDF).   * Source: Note that some stats show it as #3. ** Source: Additional Resource: