Global Water Crisis Facts

Organizations have been researching global water crisis facts for decades—and finding solutions.

More than 2 billion people have no choice but to drink water contaminated with feces,1 which causes a variety of diseases, from life-threatening diarrhea to dysentery, polio, typhoid and cholera. Only 45% of the world’s water is free from contamination and safely managed.2 And COVID-19 has made it even harder: About one in four randomly selected people (3,000 total) in six African countries reported that the pandemic had made it more difficult to access drinking water, and less than half the population in countries like Thailand and Vietnam reported washing their hands as recommended.3

But there are organization working hart to provide solutions. At GFA, we provide Jesus Wells, which pump up clean water from deep water sources. Each can bring water to an average of 300 people a day, free of charge.

Since the 1990s, water pollution has gotten worse in almost all of the Asian, African and Latin American rivers.4 Contaminated water causes about 485,000 diarrheal deaths annually, and that number rises to 829,000 when you add lack of sanitation and hand hygiene because when water isn’t readily available, many people skip handwashing.5

Nearly 2 billion people—six times the U.S. population—live without a household water connection.6 Currently, 282 million women and children spend over 30 minutes roundtrip fetching water,7 and they make multiple trips a day, using up precious time that could be spent earning income or receiving an education. Collectively, women and girls spend 200 million hours every day risking their safety by collecting water. Providing close proximity to wells and toilets significantly reduces assault and violence on women and girls,8 as well as allowing them to spend that time more profitably. GFA’s Jesus Wells are often built close to our local churches, allowing easy access for the village.

Every 2 minutes, a child dies from a water-related disease.9 In addition, 160 million children suffer from chronic malnutrition and stunted growth from unclean water and poor sanitation.10 With clean water, sanitation and hygiene, at least 297,000 children under age 5 could be saved.11 Giving villagers clean water is a practical way to show that God loves and cares for them and that they are worth saving.

Jesus Wells generate more than health; they offer hope and contribute to solving the global water crisis. Donate today.

Learn more about the Global Water Crisis

1 “Drinking-water.” World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/drinking-water. June 14, 2019.
2 “Progress on Household Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene 2000-2020: Five Years into the SDGs.” Geneva: World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). https://washdata.org/sites/default/files/2021-07/jmp-2021-wash-households.pdf. 2021.
3 “Progress on Household Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene 2000-2020: Five Years into the SDGs.” Geneva: World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). https://washdata.org/sites/default/files/2021-07/jmp-2021-wash-households.pdf. 2021.
4 “Water Quality and Wastewater.” United Nations. https://www.unwater.org/water-facts/quality-and-wastewater/. 2021.
5 “Drinking-water.” World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/drinking-water. June 14, 2019.
6 “Key Water.org Facts, for use in 2020-2021.” Water.org. https://water.org/documents/184/FY21_Key_Water.org_facts.pdf
7 “Progress on Household Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene 2000-2020: Five Years into the SDGs.” Geneva: World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). https://washdata.org/sites/default/files/2021-07/jmp-2021-wash-households.pdf. 2021.
8 Key Water.org Facts, for use in 2020-2021. Water.org. https://water.org/documents/184/FY21_Key_Water.org_facts.pdf
9 Key Water.org Facts, for use in 2020-2021. Water.org. https://water.org/documents/184/FY21_Key_Water.org_facts.pdf.
10 Key Water.org Facts, for use in 2020-2021. Water.org. https://water.org/documents/184/FY21_Key_Water.org_facts.pdf.
11 “Drinking-water.” World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/drinking-water. June 14, 2019.
* Cover Photo: MrGauravBhosle. “Water Crisis.” Wikimedia. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Water-crisis.jpg. May 22, 2016.