Water covers 70% of the Earth's surface, although only 3% of it is potable drinking water. Two thirds of the potable water is stored up in glaciers and inaccessible for human use.
Fresh water and mankind The scarcity of freshwater affects all continents. Many problems contribute to or deeply affect the global water crisis including: conflict over water resources, depletion of groundwater sources, pollution of water sources, and environmental hazards.
More than two billion people in the world lack access to freshwater
One third of the world's population suffers from a severe water shortage at least a month in a year
Half of the world's major cities suffer from water scarcity.
Due to poor water sanitation, 2.4 billion people are exposed to infectious diseases and about 2 million die each year from these diseases - mostly children. With the rapid rate of population growth, the problem has worsened over the years. The World Economic Forum's 2015 forecast is that freshwater shortages will pose the greatest global risk in terms of its potential impact over the next decade. 40 of the 50 states in the US alone are expected to be affected as a result of the water crisis in this decade.
Data from the world 2018-
India - the available water supply has decreased by two thirds in the last 60 years
Brazil - faced the worst drought in the last 100 years, with direct damage to the homes of 20 million people who rely on rainwater (Sao Paulo region)
California - is counting on the snow that is falling in the winter, but there has been no snow this year and the country has been suffering from drought for the last five years
Germany and other European countries - suffered a severe drought this year that affected 90% of the country and caused tens of billions of dollar damage
Fresh water and living beings Freshwater habitats such as lakes, rivers, streams and aquifers contain an amazing percentage of the world's biodiversity: more than 10 percent of all known animals and about 50 percent of all known fish species. However, this is a finite and limited resource. Less than 1% of the world's water is fresh and accessible. The global freshwater reservoir is threatened by climate change, population growth, changing consumption patterns, and pollution. The number of species in freshwater populations is dropping at an alarming rate of 76%. - much faster than terrestrial or marine species. Freshwater habitats are in a poorer condition than forests , pastures, and coastal plains habitats.
The UN on challenges, agreements and the right to water