Safe, Clean Drinking Water: A Basic Human Right

Over the last decade, drought and contaminated water have made safe drinking water a big problem for over one billion people in developing and impoverished countries. In many families, women and children must walk miles every day to get water.

According to the 2015 World Economic Forum, the world’s water crisis creates the highest risk for world health safety concerns. With world drought and lack of sanitary conditions found in most third-world countries, many people don’t have safe drinking water. People are at risk for illnesses and diseases caused by the lack of access to safe, clean drinking water over the next ten years. In the United States, many people who live in rural areas lack access to clean drinking water. Around the world, over 700 million people, approximately one in nine people, lack access to clean drinking water. Global health studies and statistics show that over 800,000 people around the world die every year from the effects of contaminated drinking water. That equates to approximately 2,000 people each day!

Health Risks

In developing third-world countries where drinking water is often scarce, over 1,600 children die each day from the effects of drinking contaminated water. The leading causes of illness and death are from unclean drinking water. In many places like Nigeria, Somalia and Nepal, illnesses like dysentery, typhoid fever and cholera claim more lives than malaria and AIDS combined. In many parts of Africa, waterborne illnesses are the leading cause of death for children under five years of age. When water is contaminated and unsafe to drink, it not only causes intestinal parasites and major illness, it also causes death.


It’s a basic human right of every person to have adequate, safe, clean drinking water. Unicef and The United Nations are working diligently to provide those rights to people around the world. It’s estimated that every person on earth requires a minimum of 20 to 50 liters of water per day for personal hygiene, drinking, cooking to avoid potential health and safety risks. Health organizations and private companies are working to provide safe drinking water through filtration systems and reverse osmosis equipment that eliminate bacteria and chemical pollutants that contribute to water-related diseases. Although these systems have improved water safety standards in many regions, there’s still a long way to go to eliminate the world’s drought and water safety concerns.

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