World Water Facts
In the US and many other places, you are almost certainly paying more for bottled water than for gasoline.
A Canadian study notes that a one-litre brand-name bottle of flat water costs about $1.50. That’s about 3,000 times more expensive than an equal amount of municipal tap water.
70% of the earth’s surface is covered with water.
3/10th of 1% of all the world’s water is usable by humans.
17% of the world’s population lack access to clean drinking water. (This is improved from 22% in 1990.)
About 1 billion people lack access to safe clean drinking water.
The UN Children’s Fund reports that over 1.2 billion people who were without access to safe water in 1990 now have it.
37% of the world’s population lack access to water for basic hygiene.
Households without plumbing spend on average 90 minutes a day hauling water for family needs.
Women, usually responsible for hauling water when plumbing is absent, on average carry 45 pounds of water at a time.
4,700 died on average every day in 2005 – mostly children under 5 – due to lack of clean potable water.
Every 8 seconds a child dies from a water-borne disease.
Global sales of bottled water reached $100 billion in 2005.
The cost to provide clean drinking water to half the 1.1 billion who need it is between $10 and $30 billion a year.
Massive water bottling is a form of defacto privatization.
Water shortages near water bottling plants have been reported all over, including Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Florida and Texas.
Countries that have made decisions to not permit the privatization of water include Uruguay, Malaysia and India.
The NRDC tested 103 bottled waters and found over 25% were simply tap water. Several brands tested failed the bacteria test.
Many labeled “natural” or “pure” had been run through basic filters that removed bad taste and odors but not other contaminants.
1.5 million barrels of crude oil are used annually to produce the plastic used to bottle water.
Bottled water is hauled long distances for distribution, burning massive quantities of fuel.
90% of the cost of a bottle of water is for label, cap and bottle.