Water : Factfile

There are 16 documents in this section.


  • Water use

    25 March 2008

    Water use is increasing everywhere. The world's 6.7 billion people are already appropriating 55 per cent of all the accessible freshwater contained in rivers, lakes and underground aquifers.

  • A way forward

    14 July 2003

    Experts in the field believe that the world needs a Blue Revolution in water management, just as we need another Green Revolution in agriculture. Time is of the essence. Dwindling freshwater supplies per capita are threatening the health and living standards of millions of people in a growing number of countries, as well as undermining agricultural productivity and industrial development. Achieving a blue revolution will require co-ordinated policies and responses that address water issues in a comprehensive way, not the business as usual sectoral approaches of the past.

  • Degraded rivers worldwide

    14 July 2003

    More than half of the world's major rivers are either heavily polluted and/or drying up in their lower reaches because of over-use, according to the World Water Council. Of the world's 500 major rivers, 250 are seriously polluted and depleted from overuse. Contamination and overuse of river basins displaced some 25 million environmental refugees in 1998/99.

  • Damaged by dams

    14 July 2003

    Increasingly, large dams are damaging aquatic ecosystems and displacing millions of people - all in the name of development with highly dubious benefits.

  • Demand

    9 July 2003

    While freshwater supply is limited, demand keeps on escalating as populations grow and consumption per capita increases. During the last 70 years, the global population has tripled, but water withdrawals have increased over six times. Since 1940, annual global water withdrawals have increased by an average of nearly 3 per cent per year, while population growth has averaged between 1.5 and 2 per cent.

  • Privatising water

    9 June 2003

    Many governments and municipalities in developing countries are attempting to reduce waste and increase revenue by charging even the poorest communities for water - often through meters.